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 Women’s Golf Association at the Parkersburg Country Club is helping the WVU Cancer Institute win the fight against breast cancer. During its Annual Golf Fore A Cure Invitational on June 14 the Association raised more than $12,000 for breast cancer research at the Cancer Institute in Morgantown and to support Camden Clark Foundation’s Pink Mammogram Fund, which provides free screening mammograms, diagnostics and breast biopsies for local underinsured and uninsured residents at the Cancer Institute’s Camden Clark Medical Center. Proceeds from the Invitational came from participant entry fees, hole sponsorships, doorprize tickets and mulligans sold the day of the event. “A lot of our members have either been treated or are being treated for breast cancer at the WVU Cancer Institute and we like to support local efforts to fight the disease,” said Sue Lilly, who co-chaired Golf Fore A Cure with Judy Crichton.
WVU Cancer Institute thoracic surgeon Ghulam Abbas, MD, is an expert at treating esophageal cancer and tells you how to reduce your risk of the disease.
A crowd of more than 200 got a firsthand look at the new Bonnie’s Bus that was parked outside of the WVU Health Sciences Center this past Wednesday for faculty, staff and others to tour. “It’s beautiful, just beautiful,” visitors said repeatedly as they exited the 45 foot, state-of-the-art mobile mammography unit that will replace its predecessor on July 11 when it makes its maiden voyage to the Rowlesburg Clinic in Preston County. “I was excited to come see the new Bus because we’ve been a community partner with the Bonnie’s Bus Program for several years and always have a great turnout when the Bus participates in our health fairs in Reedsville and Bruceton Mills,” Kim Riley of West Virginia Caring Hospice and Palliative Care said. The Bus Program was made possible by a generous gift from West Virginia natives Jo and Ben Statler to the WVU Cancer Institute and is a partnership between the Cancer Institute and WVU Medicine. It has served the state since 2009 and provided more than 14,000 mammograms and found 63 cases of breast cancer.