Nov 02 2009

Obligation and Opportunity

by at 11:03 am

I’m glad that so many Lombardi faculty and staff were able to attend last week’s Town Hall meeting on Health Disparities in the Research Building Auditorium. The panel engaged in a lively discussion regarding the important issue of health disparities with a focus on the District of Columbia. Lucile Adams-Campbell really represented Lombardi in a thoughtful and persuasive manner. Another highlight of the session was the powerful presence of Tovoia Miner, who relayed her experience with breast cancer and the role the Capital Breast Care Center played in assuring timely diagnosis and therapy. I am proud of what Lombardi is doing in the area of Health Disparities and look forward to even more impact from these efforts with Lucile’s leadership. I’m also appreciative of the efforts of the Friends of Cancer Research in conceiving of and organizing this important event.

For those of you whose work infrequently crosses into the Cancer Center’s clinical activities, one area that I’ve been interested in strengthening is multidisciplinary patient care and research. This requires an expansion of Lombardi’s focus beyond medical hematology and oncology to more fully engage our colleagues in radiation oncology, surgical oncology, and other sub-specialties. Several weeks ago I met with a number of the clinical department leaders to describe what Lombardi is doing and to solicit ideas about how we can work together more effectively. It was a pleasure to meet with Bruce Luxon, the new Chair of Medicine, and to continue to work with Greg Gagnon in Radiation Medicine. I was pleased to see Lynt Johnson, who is Interim Chair of Surgery, and discuss ways to incorporate surgical oncology into Lombardi’s research portfolio. I was doubly pleased when Lynt revealed that he not only loves golf, but is as bad at it as I am. I look forward to sharing a few shanks with him in the future.

Finally, on Thursday and Friday I’ll be representing Lombardi at the NCI Translational Science Meeting, called TSM 2. Fortunately, the meeting doesn’t require substantial travel as it will be held in Tyson’s corner. Before I head out on Thursday, I will be giving the Department of Medicine Grand Rounds lecture in the Gorman Auditorium. I hope to see some of you there.

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Jun 19 2009

Addressing disparities in our city

by at 5:09 pm

I attended the DC Cancer Consortium Meeting at the Cosmos Club last Wednesday night where representatives from Georgetown, GW, Washington Hospital Center, Howard University, and the American Cancer Society met to discuss how to invest in strategies that will reduce cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality in the District. For me, one of the highlights was seeing Arnie Potosky in action. I had invited him to discuss a proposal he’s putting together to establish a District of Columbia Cancer Outreach, Research, and Evaluation Database. It’s still under active discussion, but we’re hopeful that it or something like it will be adopted by the consortium. Steve Paterno also presented a very interesting proposal for a patient navigation network for the District. What pleases me about these initiatives is that they provide us with collaborative outlets for addressing disparities and health care access and care for our city.

Thursday morning I met with Lucile Adams-Campbell to get her thoughts about how we might coordinate obesity and cancer initiatives. We cam out with some exciting ways of connecting our science with the outreach and population intervention studies. These were echoed in a later meeting I had with Peter Shields.

After my meeting with Lucile about obesity, I then tried to increase the level of obesity at Lombardi by taking the CCSG team to lunch at the French Embassy. It was great to have a formal opportunity to thank them for a wonderful job and their hard work on getting the grant out the door.

I’m looking forward to attending the Gala Benefit Committee Reception tonight at the home of Darby and Monte Gingery, who are good friends of Tanya Potter Adler and Howard Adler who are this year’s Gala co-chairs. I will be joined by several of my Lombardi colleagues to thank the committee for all its hard work and provide continuing inspiration for our old and new friends who actively support the cancer center. By the way, you may want to check out the new website for the Lombardi Gala, which launches on Friday.

On Thursday, the Shared Resource Directors and Managers attended the first organizational meeting as we gear up to get the posters ready for the site visit. I was very gratified to see a member of nearly every Shared Resource in attendance, and I look forward to reviewing the poster drafts in the coming weeks.

I’m also looking forward to visiting Ohio State on Friday to present Grand Rounds there. I’m particularly interested in the opportunity to present some data from lab, which was just submitted yesterday for publication. It’s nice to know that I can continue to stay active in the laboratory and the clinic. It reminds me why I’m here and why it’s important to have cancer centers.

I won’t be here next week. I’m taking a week off and Harriet and I will be in an undisclosed and unfindable location. So don’t expect any blogs next week.

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Oct 16 2008

Congratulations to Lucile Adams-Campbell

by at 10:45 am

I have the distinct pleasure of announcing that Lucile Adams-Campbell has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (read the press release). This is a remarkable achievement. I am sure you’ll join me in congratulating Lucile. As you know, Lucile recently joined us, and this external recognition further reinforces my delight in having her at Lombardi. Stay tuned for news about a special reception to recognize her achievement.

Dr. Potter with his portrait.

Dr. Potter with his portrait.

I really enjoyed last Friday’s lecture and reception honoring Dr. John Potter. I know the recognition of his founding contributions meant a lot to him. If you haven’t seen his portrait, check it out by the elevators in the Lombardi lobby.

Thursday is a big day for me, as I finally start seeing patients again. I’ll only have one half-day of clinic per week, but I can assure you that patient care is very important to me, and I am convinced that the humbling responsibility that comes with the territory inspires me and lends added urgency to my research and my research ambitions for Lombardi. What we all do really matters.

Finally, plans for submitting our competitive CCSG renewal are humming along. We have received first drafts for all the programs and cores, and now the hard work of reviewing the write-ups (I will be ably assisted by a small army of internal reviewers) has begun. After one round of revisions, the write-ups will go out to our ESAC for their review and comments.

That’s all for this week.

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