Oncology Professionals and Leaders to be Honored at ASCO Annual Meeting

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ASCO is recognizing researchers, patient advocates, and leaders of the global oncology community through its Special Awards Program at this year’s Annual Meeting in Chicago. Recipients of ASCO’s special awards collectively represent significant strides in cancer treatment and leadership in the oncology community. George Sledge, MD, ASCO immediate Past President and Chair of the Special Awards Selection Committee, said “We are honored to commend their contributions and accomplishments in the field of oncology with ASCO’s most prestigious awards.”

Among the 2012 ASCO Special Awards Honorees

3.8.95_ozols.jpgDistinguished Achievement Award

Robert F. Ozols, MD, PhD, an internationally known expert in ovarian cancer and a leader in advancing chemotherapy research, is the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Achievement Award for his extraordinary leadership in the field of oncology. Dr. Ozols was the first Audrey Weg Schaus and Geoffrey Alan Weg Chair in Medical Science at Fox Chase Cancer Center, and also served as senior vice president and chief clinical officer at Fox Chase Cancer Center until his retirement in 2008 following two decades of service at the institution. His research has focused on how cancer cells develop drug resistance and on strategies for overcoming resistance.

3.8.95_satcher.jpgSpecial Recognition Award

David Satcher, MD, PhD, is the recipient of the 2012 Special Recognition Award for his leadership as a public health administrator and, in particular, for his contribution to cancer awareness and prevention. Dr. Satcher is director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine, and has served as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States, Assistant Secretary for Health, and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has received over 40 honorary degrees and numerous distinguished honors including top awards from the National Medical Association and the Symbol of H.O.P.E. Award for health promotion and disease prevention. Dr. Satcher has an established record of leadership, research, and community engagement in many areas of health policy including childhood obesity and disparities in health.

Humanitarian Award

Edith Peterson Mitchell, MD, clinical professor in the Departments of Medicine and Medical Oncology and program leader of Gastrointestinal Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, is the 2012 recipient of the Humanitarian Award. Dr. Mitchell has spent her medical career helping individuals in medically underserved areas to realize that simple changes in lifestyle can have a dramatic impact on cancer care. Through her work, she has demonstrated the importance of community service and outreach, especially to those individuals who may not have the means to seek out more conventional medical advice. ASCO is pleased to present Dr. Mitchell with the Humanitarian Award for her personification of the Society’s mission and values, and for going above and beyond the call of duty in providing outstanding patient care.

3.8.95_thomas.jpgPartners in Progress Award

Marlo Thomas, an award-winning actress, author, and activist, is the recipient of the 2012 Partners in Progress Award. Ms. Thomas is the National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is the driving force behind countless public awareness efforts to educate the public about the life-saving work being done at St. Jude that impacts the lives of children in communities across America and around the world. As an actress, she conceived, produced, and starred in television’s That Girl, has been honored with four Emmy Awards, the Peabody, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy, and has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. ASCO is pleased to honor Ms. Thomas for her dedicated efforts to increase public awareness of childhood cancer and for her support of cancer research and care.

3.8.95_brinker.jpgPublic Service Award

Nancy G. Brinker is the 2012 recipient of the Public Service Award for her commitment to breast cancer awareness, fundraising efforts, and legislation in support of cancer research, treatment, and care as well as her tireless efforts on behalf of patients with breast cancer, survivors, and their families. As founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, she is regarded as the leader of the global breast cancer movement. From 2001 to 2003, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary, and from 2007 to 2009 she served as U.S. Chief of Protocol, where she was responsible for overseeing all protocol matters for visiting heads of state and presidential travel abroad. In 2009, she was named Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control by the World Health Organization. Ambassador Brinker’s global leadership in the breast cancer movement has led to increased government research funding and has been key to making cancer care and research a priority for policy makers.

For information on other notable awardees, see the April 15 issue of The ASCO Post or visit ■