The MCC Champion Award honors an individual who has demonstrated leadership, excellence, success, and impact in the fight against cancer. This individual has, through their proven efforts, reduced the burden of cancer, championed initiatives to prevent and control cancer, and has improved the lives of those living with cancer. The MCC Champion will be a person who has been looked up to as a leader in cancer prevention and control.
2016 MCC Champion Award Recipient - Elisabeth Heath
Elisabeth Heath, MD, is a medical oncologist and a professor in the department of oncology at Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute or KCI and Wayne State University, is a true cancer prevention and control champion; a strong force and leader on many fronts.
As a professor of oncology, her research focus is conducting clinical and translational research trials in genitourinary malignancies by investigating novel therapeutics for preventing and treating cancer. She is known for building effective multidisciplinary teams that work to find more effective and less toxic ways to treat prostate cancer and to also reduce disparities in prostate cancer outcomes.
Dr. Heath is co-investigator or consultant on several National Cancer Institute grants as well as internal KCI grants. Importantly, she also spearheaded a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) application in 2011 entitled “Karmanos Cancer Institute Detroit Prostate Cancer SPORE” – the only SPORE application from KCI/Wayne State University in the last 20 years. The amount, and levels, of research and collaborative work the SPORE has generated speaks to its importance.
She is the medical director of the chemotherapy infusion clinic and also provides support and direction to the Patient and Community Education Department. She created and now leads the KCI Prostate Cancer Advocacy Program, a comprehensive team of providers dedicated to the prevention and cure of prostate cancer by embracing the patient and family perspective. As part of this, a prostate cancer education program was developed to specifically reach African Americans in the Detroit community. Dr. Heath helped to develop as well as participate in thoughtful and innovative community collaboration and education models that also work to reduce racial disparities in prostate cancer outcomes
She has made it her life’s mission to fight against cancer as a scientist and to find a cure. As a provider of care she supports her patients diagnosed with cancer, their families. And to the communities KCI serves, she has said let’s work together to prevent cancer and to also provide education to the community.
She is a caregiver who works across the cancer continuum to do what is best for her patients and the community. She excels in leading and serving others, considering both the patient and community perspective, and in working to develop collaborative teams of scientists, physicians, nurses, and advocates to meet shared goals. This ensures the best possible cancer research, care and treatment is made available to all. She is an incredible advocate, who through her work, lifts those around her.