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UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Celebration Succesful Virtual Event

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PITTSBURGH – The UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Celebration of Hope was held virtually this year due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. This annual event typically draws nearly 900 of the region’s leaders and longtime UPMC Hillman supporters. This year, despite the necessary changes, philanthropic support of Hillman scientists and clinicians at the region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center continued with nearly $800,000 raised. 


HCC COH featureThe “Celebration of Hope” began with a virtual cocktail reception where guests mingled with Hillman cancer scientists prior to the start of the celebration. Hosts included Hillman Director Robert Ferris, M.D., Ph.D., and Hillman Chairman Stanley Marks, M.D., who presented information about the critical funding for patient care and cancer research. More than 500 clinical trials are underway at UPMC, the University of Pittsburgh and throughout the UPMC Hillman network of nearly 80 cancer centers. 


“Cancer research can no longer depend upon federal funding alone,” said Ferris. “Because of the support we receive throughout the year and from this event, we are able to expand the boundaries of medicine to train the next generation of scientists and make new discoveries that change the way we treat cancer to make an impact on patient care.”


Norman Wolmark releaseOne leading researcher who has directly impacted patient care is Norman Wolmark, M.D., who was presented with the 2020 PNC Elsie Hillman Distinguished Scholar Award, created nine years ago by PNC to honor exceptional cancer researchers. Wolmark has spent decades conducting groundbreaking research and early clinical trials in the treatment of breast and bowel cancers. He serves as the chair of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project Foundation (NSABP) and principal investigator of the NCI-funded NRG Oncology, an oncologic research organization that combines the NSABP, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and the Gynecologic Oncology Group. 


“At UPMC Hillman, the combination of philanthropic support and our outstanding team is part of what makes us more than just a cancer center,” said Marks. “We are continually ranked among the leading cancer centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and are the only NCI-designated cancer center in western Pennsylvania because of our years of commitment to making discoveries and providing that type of groundbreaking care to our patients throughout the international UPMC Hillman Cancer Center network.”


UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is focused on treatments for all types and stages of cancer, with an emphasis on personalizing cancer care to ensure that each patient receives the most appropriate prevention, detection and treatment strategies. 
PHOTO INFO: (click images for high-res versions)





Top: Tom Grealish, chair, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Philanthropic Leadership Board and event emcee
Left: Stanley M. Marks, M.D., chairman, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
Right: Robert Ferris, M.D., Ph.D., director, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center



CREDIT: Norman Wolmark

CAPTION: Norman Wolmark, M.D., was presented with the 2020 PNC Elsie Hillman Distinguished Scholar Award.