(Silver Spring, MD) – The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) presented the 5th annual Ellen L. Stovall Award for Innovation in Patient-Centered Cancer Care on November 18 to the 2020 winners: Julia H. Rowland, PhD and Thomas J. Smith, MD.
Named for former NCCS CEO Ellen Stovall, who died in 2016 due to long-term complications from three bouts of cancer, the award highlights those who continue Ellen’s work of transforming cancer care to further incorporate patients’ goals, needs, and values.
Katie Couric, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Sen. Chris Van Hollen were among some of the guests at the 2020 Stovall Award reception.
The virtual award reception was showcased across the country and began with a video message from award-winning journalist Katie Couric. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) joined NCCS to present the award to her constituent, Julia H. Rowland, Ph.D., and Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD) presented the award to his constituent, Thomas J. Smith, MD.
“It was Ellen who gracefully taught us to choose hope. It is fitting that we honored her legacy at the 2020 Stovall Awards Reception during this unprecedented time when we all need to continue choosing hope. The 2020 Stovall Awards Reception is, without a doubt, the most important night of NCCS’ year. The winners exemplify her life’s work and passion. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Rowland and Dr. Smith for dedicating their careers to improving cancer care,” said Shelley Fuld Nasso, Chief Executive Officer of NCCS.
Julia Rowland, PhD receives the 2020 Stovall Award.
Dr. Rowland is a long-time clinician, researcher, and teacher in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer. She has worked with and conducted competitively funded research among both pediatric and adult cancer survivors and published broadly in psycho-oncology.
She was recruited to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to become the first, full-time Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship (OCS). After 18 years in this role, Dr. Rowland retired from service at the NCI in September 2017 and assumed the role of Senior Strategic Advisor at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, a small non-profit organization that has been providing integrative support services to cancer patients and their families for over twenty years.
“Across her career as a clinician, researcher, and teacher in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer, Dr. Rowland has promoted patient-centeredness, engaged patients, families, and caregivers to inform the process of improving the delivery of quality cancer care and collaborated effectively with others to improve quality within the cancer care system,” said Dr. Deborah K. Mayer, who nominated Dr. Rowland.
Thomas J. Smith, MD receives the 2020 Stovall Award.
Dr. Smith is a professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, director of Palliative Medicine for Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Care. He is a medical oncologist and a palliative care specialist with a lifelong interest in better symptom management, communication, and improving access to high quality affordable care. Dr. Smith began Johns Hopkins’ hospital-wide palliative care consult service as well as an inpatient unit, and he is dedicated to accelerating palliative care research and education.
Dr. Smith is also a prostate cancer survivor, experiencing first-hand surgery, recurrence, “salvage” radiation therapy and androgen deprivation therapy with many significant side effects. He knows all too well the experience of living and continuing to work with cancer.
“Dr. Smith provides total and compassionate care to improve the quality of life of all suffering from their illness. He creates a calm environment which is unhurried, allowing the patient to be empowered to have critical conversations. Dr. Smith has taught hundreds how to improve their own skills and thereby the quality of care they deliver,” said Patrick. J. Coyne, 2017 Stovall Award winner, who nominated Dr. Smith for the award.
Founded by and for cancer survivors in 1986, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship is the voice in Washington, DC, for survivorship issues. As a public policy nonprofit, NCCS advocates for cancer care system reforms that prioritize the needs of all those touched by cancer at every phase of cancer care delivery. NCCS empowers cancer survivors, and advocates on their behalf to ensure cancer care is the best possible for survivors, from the time of their diagnosis onward, and their loved ones. With a humanistic approach to cancer care, we will improve the quality of life and inspire hope for patients and their loved ones.