Morrisville, Vt., Native’s Bequest to Support Medical Research at VCC
- By Jennifer Nachbur
Barbara G. Stevens, a long-time resident of Morrisville, Vt., wanted to support medical research at Fletcher Allen. A $400,000 bequest from her estate will fulfill that wish as it will be directed to the Vermont Cancer Center at the University of Vermont (UVM) and Fletcher Allen Health Care. Mrs. Stevens died in April 2011 at the age of 85.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Vermont and the United States. American Cancer Society data show that about one out of three American women and one out of two American men will develop some form of cancer. For Vermont men each year, lung cancer causes the greatest number of deaths (an average of 195), followed by prostate cancer (an average of 75), and colorectal cancer (an average of 66 deaths). Deaths of Vermont women each year average 130 from lung cancer, 93 from breast cancer, and 75 deaths from colorectal cancer.
“Cancer research is a priority for our academic medical center, and we are extremely grateful for this generous gift,” said John Brumsted, M.D., president and chief executive officer at Fletcher Allen and UVM professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences. “We are committed to providing the best possible cancer care for patients and their families throughout the region we serve. A strong research program enhances those efforts. Mrs. Stevens’ gift will go a long way in supporting research that will help to extend and enhance the lives of our patients.”
Claire Verschraegen, M.D., UVM professor of medicine, Fletcher Allen medical oncologist, and co-director of the Vermont Cancer Center with Gary Stein, Ph.D., agrees. “This generous gift from Mrs. Stevens will have a big impact on our research programs to understand the disease, develop preventive protocols, and discover innovative treatments. Currently, several research initiatives are helping to develop targeted therapies for treating a broad range of cancers. This gift will provide the resources to move that exciting work forward.”
About The Vermont Cancer Center
The Vermont Cancer Center is a not-for-profit comprehensive clinical and research cancer center, the only such organization in the state of Vermont. Founded in 1974, the Vermont Cancer Center is located within the UVM College of Medicine and enjoys a clinical partnership with Fletcher Allen Health Care, together serving as Vermont’s academic medical center. The organization is composed of more than 120 scientists and physicians engaged in a full range of basic, translational, clinical, and outcomes research that seeks to uncover new knowledge and understanding about cancer and the issues that affect people with the disease.