Bank of America donates $500K to ChristianaCare cancer fund

CHRISTIANA – Bank of America announced Wednesday, Nov. 20, that it was donating $500,000 to the Endowed Fund for Translational Cancer Research at ChristianaCare’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute.

The $10 million fund benefits communities throughout Delaware and around the country by supporting biomedical research for new breast, ovarian, lung and colorectal cancer treatments, gene editing and more.

From left to right, Gordon Brownlee, vice president of development at ChristianaCare; poses with Chip Rossi, Bank of America Delaware market president; Dr. Nicholas Petrelli, Bank of America endowed medical director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute; Doneene Damon, board chair of ChristianaCare; Dr. Janice Nevin, president and CEO of ChristianaCare; Connie Montana, vice president and community relations manager of Bank of America Delaware; and Drew Fennell, chief communications and experience officer at ChristianaCare. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTIANACARE

“The way we value and support our community is a reflection of who we are as a company,” said Chip Rossi, Bank of America Delaware market president, in a statement. “We know that in underserved communities, the incidence of cancer and access to health care is a challenge. We are honored to partner with ChristianaCare to improve the health and quality of life for Delaware residents.”

Bank of America is a longtime supporter of ChristianaCare, with gifts in 2002 helping to establish the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute and endowing the medical directorship of the cancer program, and in 2005 in support of the Center for Heart & Vascular Health.

While Delaware is the second smallest state in the nation, when the Graham Cancer Center opened in 2002 Delaware ranked highest in the nation for incidence and mortality rates for cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Today, in large measure due to the Graham Cancer Center, Delaware now ranks 18th in the nation.

ChristianaCare also has one of the busiest cancer programs on the East Coast, treating more than 70% of the cancer cases in Delaware. More than 230,000 patient visits were recorded last year, and ChristianaCare is projected to treat more than 3,000 new cancer cases next year, according to officials.

In a statement, Dr. Janice E. Nevin, president and CEO of ChristianaCare, called the donation an “exceptional gift” that “serves as a cornerstone to support the Cawley Center for Translational Cancer Research at ChristianaCare.”

Established in 2009, the Cawley Center for Translational Cancer Research is a formal collaborative program between the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute and academic partner institutions. The partnership allows physicians and scientific researchers to work as a team, identifying needs of individual patients at the bedside, exploring solutions in the lab and translating those results directly into unique treatment plans.

The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute recorded more than 230,000 patient visits last year. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTIANACARE

“Thanks to Bank of America’s generous gift, we can continue to change the landscape of cancer research and care  in Delaware – extending the boundaries of scientific discovery and accelerating cures,” said Dr. Nicholas J. Petrelli, Bank of America endowed medical director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, in a statement. “This funding will enable us to enhance the quality and value of the research and care we provide in our community, including addressing racial disparities and social determinants of health.”

By Jacob Owens

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