We are thrilled to announce that our executive director, Mary Hesdorffer, was selected as the recipient of the Gabriella Graham Patient Advocacy Award. This award honors individuals who have dedicated significant time and effort to help patients obtain the best care possible; have increased awareness and provided education of the disease to health care providers; and have promoted research efforts to expand understanding of the disease and improve treatment. The award was presented to Mary by the coordinating committee for the 12th International Regional Therapies meeting, which took place on Saturday, February 18th in Snowbird, UT.
“Through Ms. Hesdorffer’s efforts at the Foundation, she has clearly exemplified the meaning of the word advocate,” said Dr. Laura Lambert of UMass Memorial, a spokesperson for the event.
“Not only does she provide people with the information and resources they need to get the optimal treatment for mesothelioma, even more importantly, through her personal connection with patients and their families, she helps them with the even harder process of healing from this life-threatening disease,” Dr. Lambert added.
Mary Hesdorffer has been working in the field of mesothelioma for nearly 20 years, during which she has cared for mesothelioma patients in a number of roles, including her most recent as executive director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
“Mary works tirelessly on behalf of the mesothelioma community and I am thrilled that her work is recognized with this award. Recognition is not something she seeks, but she truly deserves it,” said Melinda Kotzian, chief executive officer of the Meso Foundation.
The purpose of the 12th International Regional Therapies conference, which was sponsored by the David C. Koch Regional Cancer Therapy Center, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences, and UPMC CancerCenter, was to facilitate an exchange of regional cancer therapies information among physicians.
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