The Inspiration for a 5-Figure Gift Supporting Research
NCCN Foundation Board member Marc Samuels is an entrepreneur, speaker, writer, and mentor, but in speaking with him he says one of his most meaningful roles is as a supporter of and advocate for people with cancer. This support, which recently resulted in a 5-figure gift to NCCN Foundation, accompanies years of annual giving and serving on the Foundation board since 2015. Marc’s cancer journey is personal as well as professional. His father, who recently retired from MD Anderson Cancer Center after 31 years of service, is a cancer survivor. Marc’s first client was PRN, the precursor to what is today US Oncology. Marc has advised and consulted with many community oncology practices, PPS exempt cancer centers, and patient and professional societies since leaving government in 2000.
- Marc, you’ve served as an NCCN Foundation Board member since 2015, what motivates you to support the education and empowerment of people with cancer?
Through my work with ADVI I’m aware of and working on policy issues facing people afflicted with and affected by cancer. Having been in the oncology space for so long, I’m very aware of the cancer statistics. The odds are everyone will be touched by a cancer diagnosis – either for themselves, a loved one, or a colleague. The work I do with NCCN Foundation can directly help patients; it helps them understand their cancer, understand who to work with for care, and understand their treatment. Helping cancer patients is an NCCN priority and it is one of mine as well.
- In addition to your time commitment and years of service, your company ADVI recently made a large donation to NCCN Foundation to support research focused on health equity. What inspired this generous gift?
I am a Texan. We’ve always had issues of health equity inherent in our landscape (urban v. rural, US vs. non-citizens, white v. minority populations). It has always been an interest and an issue we are asked to address in our consulting engagements. As health equity is now a national issue, and an issue on which NCCN is a leader, I thought helping the Foundation Young Investigator Program while also advancing a public good, was a worthwhile endeavor.
NCCN Foundation received multiple YIA applicants from NCCN Member Institutions focusing on health equity. ADVI’s donation will partially support researcher Dr. Zachary Frosch at Fox Chase Cancer Center and his research project “Developing Patient-Centered Strategies to Improve Equitable Access to Cellular Therapies”
- How do you hope to positively affect the questions of health equity?
I think simply raising awareness is half the battle when addressing health equity. Health equity looks at the questions of transportation and food deserts, medical care available in the city vs. rural areas, differences in access to and delivery of care based on gender and race, and so much more. Any work that can change how we look at these issues can increase our understanding of these issues. Cell therapies are a great bellwether for research as care is delivered in qualified centers and patient access and care pathways are paramount to clinical success.
- How can others who want to make a difference support patients and caregivers through NCCN Foundation?
To make a difference for patients and their caregivers, people can share NCCN patient resources and donate time and/or financial resources to NCCN Foundation. NCCN Foundation provides free patient resources and also funds important research
Donations can be made at https://nccnfoundation.givingfuel.com/nccn-foundation.
*answers edited for clarity and space
* To read the rest of the articles, return to the newsletter in your email. Thanks for reading!