2012 Awards: Medical Advancement Champion For Exceptional Provision Of Access To Breast Health Care
Dr. Judy Luce
Director, Avon Comprehensive Breast Cancer
San Francisco General Hospital
Congratulations to Dr. Judy Luce, Director of the Avon Comprehensive Breast Cancer program at San Francisco General Hospital. Dr. Luce’s provision of the highest quality cancer care to a culturally diverse patient population has dramatically improved survival rates at SFGH.
Help us continue providing individuals with access to the breast cancer care they need:
Acceptance Remarks from Dr. Luce
I am honored and proud to accept this award from the Avon Foundation tonight. In return, I wish to honor the Avon Foundation. You’ve seen some of the wonderful work it does all over the world on behalf of women. But I am here to honor the Foundation on behalf of underserved women in San Francisco and on behalf of the many colleagues who have participated in bringing Avon’s generous gifts to life.
We have been able to be creative in our cost-constrained environment, thanks to Avon. We started the nation’s first program of free genetic counseling and testing for underserved multiethnic women—and we’ve been a model for other safety net institutions that have started similar programs. We’ve been able to expand our patient navigation program in new ways that have made us a model center for other navigation programs. And we’ve created a regional continuing education program for navigators, outreach workers, and others who work in the breast care community.
Thanks to Avon, women at SFGH can now participate in national research studies of breast cancer treatment. We’ve been able to create new support communities and support systems for Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino women, and we’ve done research on all aspects of our new programs. And we’ve built a beautiful imaging center that has vastly expanded our screening capacity and has added the latest technology to our diagnostic armamentarium.
Our colleagues in basic research have also benefitted, bringing their considerable scientific skills to bear on a variety of breast cancer problems. For example, thanks to recent Avon Foundation funding, Thea Tlsty is researching molecular markers of the risk of recurrence in DCIS, a common clinical problem. Thanks to Avon, our outcomes have steadily improved, and the face of breast cancer in our community has changed.
None of this, of course, has occurred without remarkable teamwork and support. My thanks go to Sue Currin, our hospital CEO, who is here tonight, and to her predecessor, Gene O’Connell. Our Avon Program Manager, Fern Orenstein, is also present—she’s been a whiz at bringing people together and solving difficult problems. I wish to honor our nurse practitioners, clinical nursing staff, physical therapists, patient navigators, research coordinators, and support staff – they have been dedicated and tireless, and share my deep gratitude.
And finally, I wish to thank and honor three people from the Avon Foundation: Carol Kurzig, Marc Hurlbert, and Carolyn Ricci. They are truly the heart and soul of a great organization, and they have been champions of the work we and many others have been doing to change the face of breast cancer. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
One final promise to you. For ten years, I have participated in the Avon Walk in one way or another. My promise is to continue for as long as I possibly can. The walk is deeply inspiring to me, and I am forever grateful to the men and women who walk and support the walk. Thank you.