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City of Hope has been awarded a $1.5-million grant from the National Cancer Institute to train health professionals on how to screen cancer patients for issues that might affect their care. The training will be led by Matthew Loscalzo, MSW, LCSW, the Liliane Elkins Endowed Professor in Supportive Care Programs, and Karen Clark, MS, Program Manager of the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center.

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"Many cancer patients report that it can be difficult to communicate their ongoing concerns with their doctors and other members of their health care team," Clark said in a news release. "Screening gives patients the opportunity to tell the team about any issues-physical, psychological, social, family, spiritual, financial, or others-that may impact their care."

KAREN CLARK, MS. KAR... - Click to enlarge in new windowKAREN CLARK, MS. KAREN CLARK, MS

The NCI grant will fund nine workshops over five years to teach doctors, nurses, business administrators, and other professionals about various screening methods, including the tablet-based SupportScreen that was developed at City of Hope (OT, 12/25/11). The workshops will also teach how to effectively use these instruments to enhance patient care. SupportScreen is a touch-screen application that prompts patients to answer various questions regarding their care and concerns.


This grant follows another $1.5-million NCI grant that the Biller Patient and Family Resource Center had received to provide supportive care training to health professionals.


Jamie H. Von Roenn, MD, Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has been named Senior Director of the Education, Science, and Professional Development Department of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. She will provide leadership for the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of several ASCO educational programs including the Annual Meeting, thematic meetings, workshops, and continuing education offerings. She will begin the new position September 23.

JAMIE H. VON ROENN, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowJAMIE H. VON ROENN, MD. JAMIE H. VON ROENN, MD

"Dr. Von Roenn has served ASCO in numerous capacities over the years, especially in the areas of education and professional development. Having her as the physician staff leader in this position will enable us to better understand and interpret the educational needs of physicians and other clinicians in the rapidly changing world of clinical oncology," ASCO CEO Allen S. Lichter, MD, said in a news release.


"We can leverage her medical knowledge, in collaboration with our volunteers, to design innovative programs for the benefit of all ASCO members."


She has been a member of ASCO since 1986, and has served on: the Board of Directors; the ASCO Palliative Care Task Force; the Scientific Program, Cancer Education, and Cancer Communications Committees; the Editorial Board; and the Leadership Development Working Group.


She is currently an columnist and a Fellow of ASCO. In 2011, she also wrote an article for OT about the key survivorship care takeaways from that year's Annual Meeting (8/25/11 issue).


She has also previously served as Director of the Palliative Medicine Fellowship Training Program at Northwestern. Her clinical expertise and research focuses on breast cancer and palliative care-particularly the impact of treatment on disease-related symptoms.


Terry Mamounas, MD, MPH, has joined MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando as Medical Director of the Comprehensive Breast Program. He was most recently Medical Director of the Aultman Cancer Center in Canton, Ohio, and Professor of Surgery at Northeast Ohio Medical University. And, since 1997 he has chaired the Breast Cancer Committee of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project.

TERRY MAMOUNAS, MD, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowTERRY MAMOUNAS, MD, MPH. TERRY MAMOUNAS, MD, MPH

Rhonda Ozanian, PhD, has been appointed to the Pacific Meso Center's Board of Directors. She was most recently a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow, working first in the U.S. Senate and then at the Brookings Institution (2010-2012). She has previously served as a U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel in the Department of Defense and the Senior Policy Analyst to the Assistant Secretary. She deployed to Afghanistan in 2006, and served on the President's Commission for Care of America's Returning Wounded Warriors in 2007.


"Dr. Ozanian brings a rare combination of professional talents combined with a deep personal commitment to health care, especially for the many veterans who have unselfishly served their country but now face combat-related health crises such as mesothelioma," Robert B. Cameron, MD, a Scientific Advisor at PMC, said in a news release. "With her insight, compassion, and expertise, PMC is pleased to have her on the Board as it forges ahead in finding better treatments for mesothelioma."


Children's Hospital of Wisconsin has received a $10-million gift from the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc. The monies will be used to further cancer and blood disorders research in three areas: (1) discovery and testing of new drug therapies, (2) increased use of cellular therapies, and (3) further genetic research for personalized cancer therapies.


The hospital also announced it has renamed the cancer and blood disorders program the MACC Fund Center.


"Children's Hospital, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the MACC Fund have long shared a vision of marshaling necessary resources on behalf of children battling cancer and blood disorders, through a fusion of bold research and compassionate care," Marcio H. Malogolowkin, MD, Medical Director of the MACC Fund Center at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Chief and Professor of the Department of Pediatrics in Hematology/Oncology, said in a news release. "This investment has been tremendously successful, resulting in increased awareness of pediatric cancer while serving as a catalyst for increased collaboration of clinical and basic scientists."


Irma H. Russo, Breast Cancer Researcher, Dies at 71

Irma H. Russo, MD, a researcher at Fox Chase Cancer Center, died there in June of ovarian cancer. She was 71.


She worked at Fox Chase first as Director of Surgical and Clinical Pathology, and then as Director of the Molecular and Endocrinology Section of the Breast Cancer Research Laboratory (which she and her husband, Jose Russo, MD, founded in 1975).


Her research focused on identifying the mechanisms of breast cancer prevention-and she helped develop a prevention method that used a pregnancy hormone, and then more recently a method using an amino acid. She and her husband have published five books and more than 200 research articles. And, in 1994 she founded the League of Women Against Cancer to provide education and help for women with cancer.


"Irma Russo was a pioneer in identifying the biological mechanisms of breast cancer prevention," Jonathan Chernoff, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Fox Chase, said via email. "Irma had a distinguished career in research, and she remained devoted until the end to the mission of understanding the cellular and molecular basis of breast cancer.

IRMA H. RUSSO, MD. I... - Click to enlarge in new windowIRMA H. RUSSO, MD. IRMA H. RUSSO, MD (1942-2013)

"She will be remembered not only by her many friends, colleagues, and the more than 50 physicians and scientists she trained and mentored over the years, but also by everyone who was touched by her good nature."


In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughter, Patricia A. Russo, and son-in-law, Ronald W. Waite Jr.; and her sister, Alicia E. Alvarez, PhD.


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