Not Selling Useless Widgets

A big part of what I do as Cancer Center Director is help identify resources to support the clinical, research, and educational activities of our outstanding faculty, staff, and students. This effort is complex and involves writing letters of recommendation for grant applications, providing support for shared research core resources that are vital for cancer research, and assuring that the outstanding clinical services provided by our faculty are appropriately reimbursed.

Another aspect of identifying resources is fundraising from members of the community, including grateful patients and families. I am joined in this important effort by many Holden colleagues.

This past Saturday, many of our faculty, staff and students had the opportunity to participate in the 2013 HCCC Stewardship Event, where they shared their passion, vision, and research results with our community supporters. Based on the energy in the room, it was clear the HCCC team and our supporters both came away with additional appreciation for the value of working together.

Participating in fundraising efforts is something I really enjoy. When asked about this part of the job, I respond by highlighting that “it is not like we are trying to sell useless widgets.”  I don’t think of myself as a salesman (not that there is anything wrong with being a salesman). Instead, I view fundraising as establishing a partnership.

The potential supporter of the HCCC and I share the same passion for reducing the burden of cancer, and we each bring something different to the table. The potential supporter has financial resources. I, on behalf of the HCCC, provide the knowledge and talent to make the best possible investment of those resources by using them to improve patient care, research, and education.

Because of support from the community, we are making progress in reducing the burden of cancer faster than ever before. Yet, we know we still have a long way to go and no doubt community support will play an even more important role in the future.

George Weiner, MD
Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Director