At its annual cancer symposium, the Society of Surgical Oncology
will present the 43rd annual James Ewing Layman’s Award to Kimberly
T. Duchossois of Barrington Hills, IL, for her deep commitment and
long-term efforts to improve the quality of cancer treatment and
help cancer patients get the information they need to make wise
decisions about their care.
The Award, to be presented Saturday, March 5, at the Society’s
64th annual meeting in San Antonio, TX, celebrates the
contributions of those who are not cancer physicians but who find
unique ways to improve cancer care. Past recipients include Mary
Lasker, Ann Landers, Jane Brody, Evelyn Lauder, Nancy Brinker,
General Norman Schwarzkopf, Arnold Palmer, Hamilton Jordan, Tommy
Thompson and, in 2000, Richard Duchossois, Kimberly’s father.
“By virtue of Kim’s leadership and vision, she and her family
are helping to improve the lives of cancer patients and their
families on a daily basis,” said Society President, Mitchell
Posner, MD, the Thomas D. Jones Professor and vice chairman of
surgery and section chief of general and oncologic surgery at the
University of Chicago Medical Center. “They have helped inspire and
inform a nationwide effort to connect all cancer patients with the
comprehensive services they need.”
The family’s dedication to cancer care, and to cancer patients,
began in 1980 when Beverly Duchossois—Richard’s wife and
Kimberly’s mother—died from cancer, at age 57. Since that
tragic event, the entire family has made steady and significant
contributions to cancer research and patient support services.
A young mother at the time of Beverly’s death, Kimberly is now
57. “She tells me she often imagines how different the outcome
might have been if Beverly had been diagnosed today,” said Posner.
“The field has progressed rapidly and we now have so many more
To help newly diagnosed patients understand their options and
gain access to the best possible care, Kimberly and her family made
the first of two transformational gifts in 2003 to create and endow
the American Cancer Society Patient Navigation Services™.
Although initially restricted to Chicago, Patient Navigation
Services have now rolled out nationwide to serve the millions who
will face a cancer diagnosis.
Navigators guide and support cancer patients, their families and
caregivers throughout the difficult and complicated process of
dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Services in the program range from
counseling and transportation to state-of-the-art cancer care and
Navigators are especially valuable for those who have difficulty
accessing quality care and support. They can provide individualized
assistance to patients, families, and caregivers; facilitate timely
access to quality medical and psychosocial care; and help patients
overcome health care system barriers.
“Thanks to support from Kim and her family for this approach,”
Posner said, “the American Cancer Society reached more than 31,000
new cancer patients in Illinois alone in 2010 and 500,000 patients
and their caregivers across the country with comprehensive
services. This effort is invaluable in addressing the cancer
patient’s needs in a comprehensive manner which is what they need
The Duchossois Family Foundation, under Kimberly’s guidance,
empowers cancer researchers and those facing cancer at all levels,
Posner said. “It supports scholars and academic institutions, but
it also helps those in family and social services, and those facing