Dec 21 2015

‘Tis the Season

by at 10:16 am under Uncategorized

Greetings and Happy Holidays! As we head into Christmas and New Year’s, and the Georgetown University holiday, this past week saw many celebrations of the season. But the work of the cancer center, as always, came first.

We had a very rigorous and helpful External Advisory Committee meeting, which kicked off with a dinner at 1789 on Sunday night. In addition to the usual conviviality, a quartet from the Washington Men’s Chorus appeared twice to sing Christmas carols – making this a memorable EAC pre-meeting dinner for all of the attendees. We got down to work the next day, concentrating on critical issues facing Lombardi as we begin to move towards the competitive renewal of our CCSG in 2018. We sought the EAC’s advice on our collaborative science, our strategic planning and recruitment plans, our clinical research progress and our developing consortium with Hackensack. We received a good deal of useful feedback and look forward to receiving the EAC’s formal report in a few weeks.

We went right from the end of that meeting to a very well-attended retirement party for Phyllis Rand. It was a genuinely wonderful event, and many old friends attended, including former Lombardi directors Marc Lippman, Kevin Cullen and Tony Dritschilo. It reminded me that Lombardi is and has always been a family – and Phyllis is our matriarch. She sent us a card, which read,:

Dear Lombardi,

Thank you so much for the glorious retirement party. What a special send-off!

My years at Lombardi have taught me all about friendship, devotion and perseverance, and the power of what working together can produce – great things. It’s been quite a ride, and I am grateful to each and every one of you for your kindness and help all along the way.

Stay in touch and Happy Holidays.


We won’t get rid of her so easily, though; Phyllis was in the office the next morning, helping with the transition of Cheryl Dumsick to her new role.

Tuesday’s event was the annual Lombardi holiday party, held at the Leavey Center. Everyone – clinicians, nurses, research faculty and staff – was there. The room was incredibly and wonderfully crowded. It was another reminder of how many of us focus on the incredibly important task of understanding, preventing and curing cancer, and how we have the potential to evolve into a larger family.

Even though the year is winding down to its end, my calendar remains quite full. There is so much to do, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have a challenging set of responsibilities that invigorate me every day as we work to make a difference – both on a global level through our research, and one patient at a time.

This is my last blog for 2015. I wish each of you the happiest of holidays, and good health, peace, joy and continued great work in 2016. We will continue to make a difference. That thought will keep me warm through the coldest nights winter will have to offer.

P.S. Congratulations to the Washington football team on its victory on Sunday; it should have no difficulties in dispatching my woeful Philadelphia Eagles on its way to the NFC (L)East division title.

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