Anjee Davis, MPPA



A trip to Washington, D.C., for Call-on Congress in 2009, lit a fire within Anjee Davis, a patient advocate at heart. Anjee joined Fight Colorectal Cancer in 2011 as the first Director of Community Engagement. In 2015, she accepted the role of President. Under her leadership, Fight CRC grew more than 30% year-over-year from 2011-2019. Today, the organization continues to relentlessly pursue its mission: We fight to cure colorectal cancer and serve as relentless champions of hope for all affected by this disease through informed patient support, impactful policy change, and breakthrough research endeavors.

Thousands of advocates are now involved with Fight Colorectal Cancer and the grassroots movement, which was started by Anjee’s work at Fight CRC. With nearly two decades of experience in public health and research advocacy, Anjee fights tirelessly for patients’ access to screening and care, health equity, and treatment advancements. She created the award-winning One Million Strong awareness campaign with her passion and community outreach. Today, hundreds of thousands of patients and families continue to post #strongarmselfie.

But Anjee didn’t stop there. In May 2021, the United States Preventive Task Force (USPTF) accepted draft language and recommended lowering the colorectal cancer screening age from 50 to 45 in average risk adults. Since then, numerous states have passed legislation to begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 45 and remove out-of-pocket costs for a colonoscopy following a positive noninvasive screening test.

Together with her team, Anjee convened international researchers to tackle topics like early-age onset colorectal cancer and immunotherapy; and CRC survivors, patient advocacy groups, and business leaders to answer the President’s call to action to prioritize access to screening for everyone leading to a White House meeting leveraging the Cancer Moonshot Program. “Our staff, our leadership, the industry partners that are putting their agendas aside to fight alongside us, we don’t have to wait for someone to come up with an answer for us,” said Anjee. She often says that it will take a collaborative effort to find a cure for colorectal cancer.

Her work empowering patients continues to make an impact on the colorectal cancer community. Anjee has encouraged and led a movement of survivors and families who continue to fight for increased medical research funding for colorectal cancer. In 2020, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act was passed, removing the “Medicare Loophole. The State-by-State Catalyst Program, Fight CRC’s first grassroots grant program, was launched in 2020, and now boasts 12 states as grantees. As a result of Call-on Congress 2022, Both the House and Senate have released their versions of the FY23 appropriations bills, and both chambers included the report language that Fight CRC drafted to direct the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to create a strategic action plan to guide colorectal cancer research.

Anjee is a champion for patients and uses her voice as a member of many advisory councils and boards, including:

Under Dr. Ned Sharpless’ leadership at NCI, Anjee served two terms (2020-2022) as chair of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Council of Research Advocates (NCRA).  In 2020, she was appointed to the President’s Cancer Panel to address colorectal cancer prevention, equity, and screening challenges due to COVID-19. Partnering with researchers, Anjee continues to review, design, and evaluate concepts for phase two and phase three clinical trials in adult gastrointestinal cancers, and she makes recommendations, which keep the values of patients central to the design of clinical trials.

Her work doesn’t end with advocacy. Anjee continues to champion research and treatment advances.

In December 2021, Fight Colorectal Cancer launched a Path to a Cure report, with a Think Tank of the best and brightest minds in the field of colorectal cancer. The Think Tank focused on treatment, one of the four pillars (biology and etiology, prevention and early detection, treatment, and survivorship and recurrence). Our Path to a Cure report is our plan for the future. This plan is not just for Fight CRC, but for everyone who is willing to champion this cause. Together, with our community of patients, families, and caregivers, we work relentlessly to bring attention to colorectal cancer and all the issues surrounding it.

The overall survival rate for people with colorectal cancer has not budged, and the treatment pipeline has stagnated. We need to re-evaluate how we look at overall survival and begin to look beyond only “stage of colorectal cancer.” We need to adjust narrow goals of targeted therapies for specific demographics: We need to push the science.

Building collaborations is an essential component in Anjee’s role as President, and she’s led Fight CRC to become a preferred partner among local, state, and national groups. She has received several local and national awards for her community service and civic leadership, including:

Prior to leading Fight CRC, Anjee built a statewide awareness and screening program at the University of South Carolina’s Center for Colon Cancer Research. Under Dr. Frank Berger’s leadership, she managed over $11 million from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to build a multidisciplinary basic science team of young investigators in colorectal cancer.

Anjee holds a Bachelor’s degree from Southwest Missouri State University and a Master of Public Policy Administration from the University of Missouri St. Louis.