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Giving and Awards

Hoeppner Award recipient Lutane knows what it takes to get the job done

Hoosier Cancer Research Network recently honored Billye Lutane with the Terry Hoeppner Patient Advocacy Award. Lutane is a buyer for University Hospital, Riley Hospital, and the IU Simon Cancer Center. But more than that, she is a pillar within IU Health, having served for 35 years.

Like past recipients of the Hoeppner award, Lutane has demonstrated that patient advocacy is not simply something to do; it is a way to do everything. It is not so much a profession as a calling. It is a calling answered by people of all backgrounds and professions. Read More

Richardson brings relentless dedication to patient care

The Sandra Turner Excellence in Clinical Research Award was established in 2002 by Dr. William B. Fisher through the George and Sarah Jane Fisher Fund to honor the memory of Sandra Turner, the first executive director of Hoosier Cancer Research Network. Each year the organization selects individuals for the award who exemplify the qualities Sandra possessed and respected in others, such as sustained professional commitment, contribution to the progress of oncology care, and the unflinching touch of compassion.

Stacey Richardson, RN, BSN, was honored as a recipient of the Sandra Turner Excellence in Clinical Research Award in 2016. Richardson is a clinical research coordinator with Community Health Network. Her story illustrates how a spark of compassion becomes a flame.

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Gbolahan receives Fisher Young Investigator Award

Hoosier Cancer Research Network, formerly known as Hoosier Oncology Group, recently honored Olumide Gbolahan, MD, as the 2016 recipient of the George and Sarah Jane Fisher Young Investigator Award.

Dr. Gbolahan grew up in Nigeria where his interest in medicine took root in high school. “My aptitude was really more toward the health sciences, biology core sciences,” he said. “I found myself moving in the direction of medicine. Once I found myself in medicine, I did not see that I could do anything else.” Read More

HCRN chairman and donors team up to advance research

This spring, Hoosier Cancer Research Network Chairman Christopher A. Fausel, PharmD, invited friends and colleagues to join him in a unique challenge called Reps for Research. For the third consecutive year, Fausel added value to his participation in the Arnold Sports Festival’s 5K Pump and Run event, held March 5 in Columbus, Ohio, by inviting pledges in support of HCRN for every bench press repetition he completed.

Twenty-eight donors answered the challenge, contributing a total of $3,315 as Fausel successfully completed 30 repetitions during the event. Since 2015, Reps for Research has raised more than $8,000 toward innovative cancer research. This funding strengthens HCRN’s ability to support investigator-initiated clinical trials and correlative research that can lead to direct clinical benefit.

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Ellis honored for commitment and compassion

Serving others has been a lifetime calling for Cara Ellis. As a child, her parents taught her to appreciate what she had and to make the most of every opportunity. “I remember my father saying that he would love for his children to do some type of work where we are helping others.’’ Ellis recalls.

Hoosier Cancer Research Network (HCRN) recently honored Ellis, a clinical research coordinator at IU Health Central Indiana Cancer Centers, with the Sandra Turner Excellence in Clinical Research Award.

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HCRN chairman launches third “Reps” challenge

For the third consecutive year, Hoosier Cancer Research Network chairman Christopher A. Fausel, PharmD, is combining his passion for investigator-initiated research with his annual participation in the Arnold Sports Festival Pump & Run 5K in Columbus, Ohio.

Fausel has participated in the annual strength and endurance event for several years, and is inviting pledges in support of Hoosier Cancer Research Network (HCRN) for every bench press “rep” he completes (maximum of 30) during the event on Sunday, March 5, 2017. Read More

Fisher honored for lifetime of service

For more than four decades, William B. Fisher, MD, a medical oncologist at the IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, has served cancer patients, their families, and the community of East Central Indiana. Dr. Fisher was one of six oncologists who founded Hoosier Cancer Research Network (known then as the Hoosier Oncology Group) in the mid 1980s, and served as its founding vice chair. He has remained a strong supporter of the vision for collaborative research to expand patient access to clinical trials throughout the state of Indiana and beyond. In honor of his longstanding commitment, HCRN recently presented Dr. Fisher with the organization’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award during an event in Indianapolis. Read More

Courage to Climb benefit concert brings community together

Columbus North High School in Columbus, Ind., will host the 2016 Courage to Climb concert on Saturday, Aug. 13, at 7:00 p.m. in the high school’s Erne Auditorium.

The annual benefit concert, now in its seventh year, honors Columbus North choir director and cancer survivor Janie Gordon. Tickets are $15 at the door. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Hoosier Cancer Research Network, a nonprofit clinical research organization in Indianapolis.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, Gordon broke the news to her students during rehearsal for their summer musical production. Despite their shock, three students wanted to do something to help. They secretly planned a concert in honor of Gordon and named the event “Courage to Climb,” based on a motto Gordon had adopted for her battle against cancer.

Gordon was just beginning chemotherapy when the concert was held. She recalls her initial reaction when she walked in and saw the auditorium decorated in pink. Read More

Reps for Research: Raising the bar in the fight against cancer

Hoosier Cancer Research Network Chairman Christopher A. Fausel, PharmD, has again and again raised the bar in the fight against cancer – literally. This spring, he reissued his unique challenge to friends and supporters of HCRN: the Reps for Research challenge. Combining his interest in strength training and his passion for investigator-initiated research, Fausel invited pledges for every bench-press “rep” he could complete at the Arnold Sports Festival’s 5K Pump and Run event in Columbus, Ohio.

“Each repetition generates a donation to the fund of the Hoosier Cancer Research Network,” said Fausel. At the largest event of its kind and flanked by competitors from across the country, Fausel lifted up more than weights, but also the cause of innovative clinical trials in oncology. “We are looking to partner with physicians, not only in Indiana, but throughout the United States, to come up with really important clinical studies for many different types of cancer research.”

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Flores finds oncology a bridge between basic and clinical research

“For a long time, I think we’ve tended to treat these two spaces separately, the basic science space and then the clinical space,” said John Paul Flores, MD, fellow at the Tufts University School of Medicine. Keenly aware of the relationship between patient care and basic science, Flores found in oncology a profound union of these two disciplines; a union that drew him to the field and informs his innovative work.

“I went into medical school, I started treating patients, and I realized I liked more of the patient-treating aspects than the basic science aspects. I also realized that, in lots of medicine, we didn’t really use any of that basic science that I had learned and that had attracted me to the field in the first place. But then, through internal medicine, I realized that oncology is actually a good combination of all of those interests. Part of it is patient care, and there is a huge responsibility when it comes to treating cancer patients; it is something that changes a patient’s life entirely. And at the same time, there is constant research and innovation going on. Any understanding of that requires a good appreciation of the basic sciences. So, it was a good mix of my two interests: basic science and treating patients.”

This past December, Flores was honored as a recipient of the Danny Danielson Translational Innovation Award. In 2013, Donald C. “Danny” Danielson established the award, granted by the Walther Cancer Foundation.

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