By B. Mark Evers, MD, UK Markey Cancer Center Director
As the nation’s leading state in cancer incidence and mortality, Kentucky looks to us at Markey to provide a path to improvement. Thanks to the great cancer education opportunities being offered by Markey around the state, I am happy to say we are certainly moving in the right direction.
Cancer education is tremendously important, and our program continues to set bigger goals to educate as many people as possible. But of course, education is one piece of our puzzle. From our clinics to research focused teams, there are a number of areas where Markey must continue striving to make a difference around the Commonwealth.
In September, we realized a culmination of our efforts over the past five years by submitting our NCI Cancer Center Support Grant application, applying to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. These centers excel in clinical and translational research, developing innovative clinical trials, hosting cancer prevention and control programs, educating young health professionals, community outreach and more. I would like to thank everyone in the center for your work, as this submission would not be possible without it. Whether you contributed directly to writing the application or not, your effort provided the groundwork for what Markey offers and can present in such an application. Your hard work resulted in an application we were proud to submit.
While we have crossed a big checkpoint, we have not quite reached the finish line. We are currently preparing for our site visit on February 6, 2018, where we will meet and discuss our application with reviewers from other NCI-designated Cancer Centers to show first hand that our cancer care and research have reached comprehensive excellence.
While it will be the summer of 2018 before we learn the application’s results, the best thing we can do in the meantime is continue working at the ambitious pace we have set for ourselves. Ask yourself: how can I continue to improve my work, or help my patients or colleagues? Challenge yourself to take the extra step and accomplish something bigger than you may have originally intended. Setting big goals for yourself can lead to greater results. In the end, these small efforts add up to something much bigger, and ultimately make a huge impact on all of Kentucky and the surrounding regions.