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Major Gift Allows Penn to Establish Cancer Research Institute

Major Gift Allows Penn to Establish Cancer Research Institute

NEW YORK—The family of the founder of US Healthcare is giving the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center $100 million for cancer research. It is thought to be the largest gift of research money ever given to a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and the second largest gift given to the University of Pennsylvania.

Madlyn Abramson, wife of Leonard Abramson, the founder and former chairman of US Healthcare, is a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s Board of Trustees. Mrs. Abramson was also a patient at the Penn Cancer Center. “I want to give everybody the opportunity to receive the kind of care I had at the Penn Cancer Center,” she said at a press conference.

Judith Rodin, president of the University of Pennsylvania, said that the gift would enable the Penn Cancer Center to embark on an unprecedented expansion of cancer research, education, and patient care. The money will go toward the creation of the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute that will support not only cancer research but also the design of innovative patient care models that include the psychosocial aspects of cancer therapy.

The Abramson Family Institute will recruit an international team of outstanding researchers and clinicians to do basic research into cancer, paying particular attention to breast, lung, prostate, ovarian, and lung cancer.

“The innovative thing about this approach is that the Institute will not only support research, but set a new standard for patient care, enhancing the delivery of comprehensive evaluation and treatment in a compassionate manner,” said John Glick, MD, director of the Penn Cancer Center.

Dr. Glick was also Mrs. Abramson’s personal physician. “John has been our very dear friend and my physician for the past 12 years,” she said. “My family established the Institute to support the Center’s efforts to provide leading edge comprehensive cancer care in a warm caring environment.”

The Abramson Family Institute will be established as a nonprofit organization overseen by a nine-member board of directors, with a scientific advisory board and with Mrs. Abramson as chair.

“We choose to make this gift to the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center with the intention of bringing together the most talented people with the most advanced technologies to defeat the enemy among us; that enemy is cancer,” Mrs. Abramson said.

Commitment is a Family Endeavor

Mrs. Abramson stressed the word family in the naming of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute.

“This support represents a commitment, not only from Leonard and myself, but from the entire Abramson family,” she said, “a commitment that will be not only of funds, but of time, energy, enthusiasm, and innovation from our children and, hopefully, eventually from our grandchildren.” Mrs. Abramson thanked her doctor, John Glick, for making it all possible.

 
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