PITTSBURGH, June 22, 1999 — Officials from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center announced today a $10 million contribution from Henry L. Hillman and the Hillman foundations for the development and expansion of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute's (UPCI’s) premier cancer treatment and research programs at UPMC Shadyside Hospital.
"These funds will enhance our ability to recruit the very best physician scientists to join the distinguished group of cancer specialists at UPCI for the treatment of cancer patients as we expand our role in the field of world class clinical research," remarked Jeffrey Romoff, president of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "I am pleased to announce that in grateful recognition of this generous gift, the planned cancer research and clinical care facility at UPMC Shadyside will be named the Hillman Cancer Center," continued Mr. Romoff.
Mr. George H. Taber, chair, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Board of Directors, said, "Henry Hillman and his wife, Elsie Hilliard Hillman, have a long history of support generally for health care and medical research in the Pittsburgh community; this particular gift benefits two organizations that traditionally have been important to them—UPCI and UPMC Shadyside Hospital."
Both the Hillman and Hilliard families have been associated with Shadyside Hospital for more than one hundred years, with many family members having served on boards and as trustees of the hospital, a tradition which continues today. In 1981, the Hillman family supported the Mary Hillman Jennings Radiation Oncology Center and contributed to the $2.3 -million endowment for the William M. Cooper, M.D., Chair in Medicine. Dr. Cooper is a distinguished professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, attending physician in hematology-oncology at UPMC Shadyside, chairman of the Shadyside Hospital Foundation and a long-time friend of the Hillman family.
Elsie Hilliard Hillman, a founding member of the UPCI Council in 1987, continues as a member of the community advisory council today. In 1993 The Hillman Company, with a gift of $1.5 million, endowed the Hillman Professor of Oncology Chair at UPMC, which is presently held by Ronald B. Herberman, M.D., director of UPCI and associate vice chancellor for research, Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Cooper said, "This generous gift is a natural extension of the relationships among UPCI, UPMC Shadyside Hospital and the Hillmans. It will ensure the continuation of nationally recognized research and patient care activities."
Mr. Hillman noted, "Since UPCI’s founding in 1984, we have been aware of its growth as a nationally recognized cancer center and its prestigious designation by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a comprehensive cancer center. Given these achievements, which place UPCI among the nation’s leading cancer centers, coupled with UPMC’s commitment to provide improved and expanded cancer treatment to the citizens of the southwestern Pennsylvania region, we are pleased to make this contribution."
The Hillman gift comes at a time when UPCI has just received a renewal of its cancer center grant fund from the NCI. The funding, which totals $18.5 million over five years, reflects an 80 percent increase over the last funding cycle and re-affirms UPCI’s status as an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, the only one serving this region. Last year from all funding sources the Institute received more than $90 million in sponsored research.
The Hillman Cancer Center will provide a synergistic hub for patient care and research activities. In addition to housing UPCI outpatient services, the Center will include UPCI’s clinical and research programs focusing on molecular and cellular oncology; leukemia, lymphoma and bone marrow transplantation; prostate and urologic cancers; malignant brain tumors; head and neck cancer; colorectal cancer; lung cancer; and cancer epidemiology, prevention and control. Other centralized UPCI patient services will include cancer screening, genetic counseling, behavioral counseling and the cancer information and referral service.
Since its inception, UPCI has become a leader in translational research, the conversion of laboratory findings into applications of potential clinical importance. In particular, UPCI is renowned for its development of biological therapies and cancer vaccines and its basic research findings in cancer immunology and on biological markers related to disease initiation, progression and response to therapy. Currently, more than 600 scientists and health care professionals from 30 disciplines collaborate to improve the understanding of cancer and to develop new lifesaving approaches in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment. UPCI disseminates this knowledge rapidly to regional and national health care providers and to the general public.
More information about UPCI is available by accessing http://www.upmccancercenters.com.