The WVU Cancer Institute 32nd Annual Spring Gala was an opportunity to honor some very special individuals. During an “An Evening of Hope, Innovation and Partnership” Cancer Institute leadership presented the Crystal Ribbon Award to Pam Bakalarski, Greg Darby, Hannah Hazard Jenkins, MD and William Petros, PharmD. The award was designed by a glass artisan with Glass Dimensions of Tamarack to encompass and inspire the three attributes of hope, innovation and partnership.
William Petros, PharmD, former interim director at the Cancer Institute and associate director for anticancer drug development, praised Pam Bakalarski for her advocacy of clinical trials research. “She’s devoted her professional career to focusing on improving the lives of cancer patients; today tens of millions of people are receiving better treatment through clinical trials.” He added that Pam is also an inspiration because she is a cancer patient and survivor.
Denver Allen, major gifts director for the Cancer Institute, lauded Greg Darby calling him a very powerful force in promoting and supporting the efforts of WVU Basketball Coach Bob Huggins to advance cancer clinical trials. “He gives because he cares,” Allen said.
WVU Cancer Institute Director Richard Goldberg, MD praised Hannah Hazard Jenkins for her commitment to public service. “Her commitment in this area, and especially to the underserved in West Virginia, is in her DNA,” Dr. Goldberg said, noting her grandfather’s public service role and adding that Hannah is a West Virginian by parentage and birth.
The Cancer Institute surprised Dr. Petros with a Crystal Ribbon. “Bill not only maintained stability of the Cancer Institute while serving as interim director, but also moved us forward,” Deputy Director Laura Gibson, PhD said. “The respect that all of his colleagues have for him was always obvious and was reflected in the appreciation that people had for his leadership and advice. He is a truly valued colleague and friend.”
Petros, who also holds the Mylan Chair of Pharmacology, has been named the Gates Wigner Dean of the WVU School of Pharmacy and will assume that role on June 1.
The WVU Cancer Institute lung cancer support group team in conjunction with the Lung Cancer Alliance will host the first annual Shine a Light on Lung Cancer in observance of lung cancer awareness month on November 28, 2017 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the ground floor conference room at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. This is an event for current and past patients and their families to provide education about lung cancer and new treatment updates, and will be an opportunity to honor those living with lung cancer and those we have lost to the disease. Several members of the lung cancer team will share recent clinical advances and memorable patient experiences. Please contact Adrienne Duckworth, NP, or Rachel Harper, MSW, or call 304-598-4500, if you plan to attend. Light refreshments will be provided. All Cancer Institute staff are welcome.
WVU Cancer Institute’s Cancer Prevention and Control has expanded its Bridge Program that focuses on lung cancer survivorship to United Hospital Center (UHC) in Bridgeport. The goal of the Cancer Institute and UHC’s Bridge Program is to improve the coordination of care and decrease the consequences of treatment for patients diagnosed with stage I, II, or III lung cancer after they complete treatment.
The fourth annual Pink Party to benefit the Bonnie Wells Wilson Mobile Mammography Program (Bonnie’s Bus) was a huge success. Nearly 200 attendees, wearing their favorite shades of pink, enjoyed a special evening at Touchdown Terrace at Milan Puskar Stadium on November 13 to support one of their favorite causes – Bonnie’s Bus. “Thank you for being so supportive,” Jo Statler told the crowd. “Because you are here, that tells me you have big hearts.” She and her husband Ben made a generous gift to the WVU Cancer Institute eight years ago to establish the mobile mammography program, named after Jo’s late mother, Bonnie Wells Wilson.