Melissa Shaw Sikes has taken the reins as the new executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House and the Cancer Support Foundation which is based in Fort Smith.
Susan Steffens, who served as the executive director for seven years starting in March 2014, left in August. She is now the director of development in the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith Advancement Department.
Before beginning at the Cancer Support House, Sikes was program director for Healogics, Inc. at Baptist Health Wound Center. She also has non-profit leadership and fundraising experience with the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a news release said.
Sikes has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and master’s degree in public administration, executive healthcare administration from the University of Texas at Tyler.
“My career in healthcare, including non-profit organizations, has been very rewarding. My experience in leadership at multiple non-profit organizations has taught me the importance of patient support organizations and the necessity for community philanthropy,” Sikes said.
Sikes is a Fort Smith native and graduate of Southside High School, finding her way back home 3 years ago.
“It’s been a wonderful homecoming. I am delighted to be back home with family and friends,” she said.
The Cancer Support Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1978 and funds the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House whose mission is to provide cost-free programs and services to cancer patients in the Arkansas River valley and to provide cancer awareness education programs to the community.