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Pioneering professorship will teach innovative, patient-centered approach to cancer

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is honored to announce gifts to establish the inaugural Parker Hannifin Helen Moss Cancer Research Foundation Professorship in Integrative Oncology. This professorship will establish the School of Medicine and its affiliate hospitals as national leaders in teaching, research, and patient care in the field of integrative oncology.

The gifts from The Parker Foundation and Helen Moss Cancer Research Foundation, among other donors, will establish an umbrella program for integrative oncology an opportunity not offered at other institutions. The professorship seeks to change the way cancer is treated by employing the practice of integrative medicine and therapies designed to extend the lives of cancer patients using a more holistic and natural approach, along with traditional medicine. Historically, cancer has been treated as an acute illness; the Professorship in Integrative Oncology will research the impact of treating cancer as a chronic condition focused on alleviating the pain and suffering of patients through non-toxic approaches to improve immune system capabilities. Such approaches can include complementary and alternative medicine; diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices; as well as the use of neutraceuticals, herbs and botanicals. The holder of this leadership chair will bring together the finest educational, research, and clinical resources available at Case Western Reserve and its affiliate hospitals to bring new complementary and natural treatment options to patients.

The joint funding of this distinctive professorship by The Parker Foundation and Helen Moss Cancer Research Foundation will enable the university to recruit a distinguished faculty member that will develop and lead a forward-reaching program to educate future leaders in the field of integrative oncology. In addition, the gifts will allow the faculty member to direct and conduct research, and develop a seamless, collaborative program composed of physicians, nurses, nutritionists, and others in health care. They will be dedicated to promoting the highest quality, natural health care, of oncology patients, including children, adults, and the elderly, as well as their families.

Helen Moss, a stage-four breast cancer survivor, is the genesis of this groundbreaking professorship, which brings to fruition more than 10 years of her advocacy work to advance integrative oncology. Because of its unparalleled commitment to employee health and its community, The Parker Foundation partnered with her by funding $1 million to help establish the $1.5 million professorship.

"This professorship will change the way cancer is treated," said Helen Moss, founder of the Helen Moss Cancer Research Foundation. "The traditional one size fits all approach seldom works completely and can have harmful effects by introducing toxins into the body. By advancing the field of integrative oncology my hope is that we shift the emphasis in cancer treatment to a focus on the patient as an individual and treating their entire body rather than a singular focus on treating the diseased organ. These are not necessarily new concepts but build on the philosophy established by the renowned physician Dr. Harvey Cushing. I believe it's time to resurrect these more natural treatment options and combine them with modern advances in treatment."

Parker Hannifin is one of the only major corporations in the nation that offers its employees complementary medicine health benefits insurance, in addition to more traditional health benefits. They support therapies such as heavy metal detoxification, energy medicine, natural health approaches to improve the immune system, acupuncture, and massage as a means of offering employees a broader range of treatment options as well as reducing health care costs. In addition, Parker Hannifin has an on-site clinic at its Cleveland headquarters -- offering convenient access to care to its employees.

"This professorship is a catalyst for change in the comprehensive treatment of cancer," said Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD, dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs, Case Western Reserve University. "It embodies the definition of integrative by combining the elements of research, education, and all aspects of care under common leadership."

Contact: Jessica Studeny
Case Western Reserve University

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