By Carrie Capili, Communications Specialist, Editor
The NCCN Foundation, which through private philanthropy and grants, advances the mission of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) to improve the quality and effectiveness of care for patients with cancer, welcomes Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, President of Samaritan Health Initiatives, Former Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration and Director of the National Cancer Institute, Former Director of the Prostate Cancer Research Program and Director of the Genitourinary Cancer Center at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as the newest member to the Board of the NCCN Foundation.
"I am very pleased that Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach has agreed to join the Board of the NCCN Foundation," commented Sam Donaldson, chair of the NCCN Foundation Board of Directors and ABC News veteran. "His appointment brings a person of enormous stature and strategic leadership to help guide the work of the Foundation. In addition to his international reputation as a surgeon, Dr. von Eschenbach is the past Director of National Cancer Institute and former Commissioner of the FDA. Andy is also a cancer survivor. Consequently, helping cancer patients and reaching out to caregivers is personal for him. His experience and wisdom bridges the worlds of clinical research and patient care – which is in perfect alignment with the mission of the NCCN Foundation."
Dr. von Eschenbach currently serves as President of Samaritan Health Initiatives, a Consultant at the Center for Health Transformation and Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. From 2005 through 2009, he served as Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where he set an ambitious goal of eliminating the suffering and death due to cancer by rapid acceleration and integration of the discovery-development-delivery continuum by the year 2015. Dr. von Eschenbach entered government service after an outstanding career over three decades as a physician, surgeon, oncologist, and executive, including numerous leadership roles from Chairman of the Department of Urologic Oncology to Executive Vice President and Chief Academic at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Dr. von Eschenbach is an internationally renowned cancer specialist and author of more than 300 scientific articles and studies. He was also named one of Time magazine's "100 most influential people to shape the world," in both 2007 and 2008. He has been married to his wife, Madelyn, for more than 40 years, and they are proud parents of four children and grandparents of seven.The NCCN Foundation was initiated in 2010, with a key goal in the first year of raising funds for the development and distribution of the NCCN Guidelines for Patients™. Seven of these guidelines for patients are now available with another nine planned for the coming year. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients™ use the same treatment algorithms that are the hallmark of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines™), but are translated into a more user-friendly format utilizing language for non-professional audiences.