Message from the Director: Reflecting on the past, looking to the future
By B. Mark Evers, MD, UK Markey Cancer Center Director
As Kentucky’s only NCI-designated Cancer Center, it is important for Markey to be a voice of expertise when people talk about cancer. Fortunately, we have some of the best and brightest cancer researchers and physicians whose input is often sought to shed light on the topic. This quarter, I’d like to highlight just a few of the recent opportunities we’ve had to get the word out about the work happening here at Markey and some of our state’s most challenging health issues.
For example, Markey’s own Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control, Thomas C. Tucker, PhD, MPH, joined WEKU’s Eastern Standard radio show to discuss cancer deaths in Kentucky as well as treatment and survival options. Late last year, Director of the newly funded Kentucky LEADS Collaborative, Jamie Studts, PhD, was featured on “UK at the Half,” which aired on the radio at halftime of at UK men’s basketball game.
When KET explored cancer care in a set of programs that accompanied the three-part documentary series Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies by Ken Burns, Tim Mullett, MD, Medical Director of the Markey Cancer Center Research Network, was called upon. He joined a panel for the KET Health Three60 live call-in program Answers for Cancer and took questions from viewers about cancer screening, treatment and recovery resources in Kentucky.
Additionally, part of my role as the Markey Cancer Center Director requires me to also be in the public eye. Like Dr. Mullet, I had the opportunity to appear on KET. I was happy to take the time to appear on One to One with Bill Goodman to discuss the latest news in cancer care and research, and Markey’s goals to conquer cancer in the Commonwealth. On a lighter note, earlier this year a group of young people from Lexington invited me to speak at West Sixth Brewing for an event called Suds and Science (the first of its kind in Lexington), giving an overview to the general public about cancer and the cutting edge research being done at UK and around the world. An Op-Ed piece for the Lexington Herald-Leader allowed me to address a statistic we must change: our state’s No. 1 ranking in lung cancer incidence and mortality.
And most recently, Jennifer Bradley, Markey’s Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner, received new funding from the Susan G. Komen foundation to continue a series of videos that show patients the value of Jin Shin Jyutsu even when they can’t come to her practice in person. She’s even taking the additional step of having them translated into Spanish and subtitled – all of which will help her reach a broader audience and help more patients.
There are so many other people getting the word out in this same way – even on a much smaller scale, like following Markey’s growing presences on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. We all have opportunities to share the work and success we see every day at Markey. I encourage each of you to be a voice of expertise as we continue or efforts to provide state-of-the art care and conduct cutting-edge research.