Sep 25 2009

It’s finally September 24th

by at 10:58 am under CCSG

So, we finally had our NCI Site Visit yesterday. And, in my opinion, we were great! The uniform high quality of the presentations was very impressive. Each of our speakers conveyed mastery and personal command of their responsibilities, scientific virtuosity and a keen understanding of their respective roles in the function of the cancer center. Responses to the site visitors’ questions were spot-on. It was clear that our programs were vibrant, organic entities, and not mere administrative artifices. The Shared Resource presentations and tours were splendid. Everybody involved conveyed a sense of shared mission, meaningful community and a clear vision of what Lombardi is, and where it is headed. I have participated in many site visits, and have never been at one where all these elements were so fully and transparently on display. I am especially grateful to our fabulous Associate Directors and Program Leaders, other speakers and Shared Resource Directors whose tireless work was evident in the fine product that we presented. I am convinced that we portrayed ourselves accurately, and in a manner that should lead any reasonable deliberative body to conclude that we are most worthy of continued comprehensive designation for a period of five years. I am so proud of who we are, and what we have accomplished, and I am excited about our future.

I have never been at a site visit that has been better organized, or went so smoothly. Ellen McLaughlin and her team were utterly magnificent. Allison Whitney’s slides were fabulous. It is easy to take such things for granted, but I can assure you that nobody worked harder, including me, than they did to prepare the CCSG application and then assure that the site visit would highlight all the wonderful work that is done at Lombardi. I am immensely grateful for their work, and I know that you share my appreciation.

Our Senior Leadership team really coalesced to support me during these final hectic weeks. Even though Craig Jordan has only been here for a short time, his piercing insights and wise counsel contributed greatly to assure that I struck the right “tone” in my remarks to the reviewers. I am especially grateful to John Marshall for his masterful analysis and integration and compelling presentation of our clinical and clinical research activities. As always, Michael Vander Hoek was always there, working to make sure that all of the many moving parts fit. Moreover, he was the unsung hero of the site visit, responding to a last-minute request by the site reviewers to magically provide a whole new set of numbers for their review. Finally, Peter Shields has been my partner in crime since I arrived, as we prepared for yesterday. I shudder to think of where I would have been, or how we could have acquitted ourselves so well yesterday, without his experience, insights and knowledge of Lombardi.

Poor Phyllis! Can you imagine what she has had to put up with over the past year? At least Mia was there to provide her with consolation…

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