050421 Patricia Higgins

Priscilla Higgins was elected as the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara's new vice chair. 

The Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara elected four new board officers during its annual meeting in April, according to Executive Director Lori Willis, who said the election represents a new chapter in leadership.

“The foundation’s mission of providing excellent cancer care to all members of the community regardless of means will continue to be at the forefront of the minds of the new officers, trustees and staff,” Willis added.

The new officers include Priscilla Higgins, C. Michael Cooney, Kristen Blabey and Patricia MacFarlane. 

Higgins, a Santa Ynez Valley resident and philanthropist, will serve as the new vice chair. She has worked on the foundation's board since 2016 and chaired the Outreach and Stewardship and Nominating committees.  

A foundation spokeswoman said Higgins' dedication and leadership throughout the years has made a lasting impact on the direction of the Cancer Foundation and its work with cancer patients and their families.

Cooney will fill a one-year term as board chair. He has stepped into a variety of board positions over the last 10 years, a spokeswoman said. He now is a member of the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission and serves on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, as well as the Outhwaite Foundation board of trustees. 

Blabey will take on the role of secretary after the recent election. She is a partner at Price, Postel & Parma, specializing in estate planning, probate and trust administration. She also is a mother of three children and the chair of the Cancer Foundation's Outreach and Stewardship Committee.

The spokeswoman said Blabey's service has pushed forward the mission of the foundation. 

MacFarlane was elected to the role of treasurer. She joined the board in 2018 and served as the finance chair since 2019.

For the past 20 years, MacFarlane has volunteered in the community, including as a current board member for Cate School and the UCSB Arts & Lectures Council. She is a former board president of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. 

Lisa André covers lifestyles and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record.