Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and MedStar Health Partner with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope for Baltimore to Wash

October 04, 2005

Cynthia S. Shaw
(202) 687-4080

Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and MedStar Health Partner with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope for Baltimore to Washington, DC, Fundraising Ride
Regional leaders in cancer care to help inspire and inform the public about the importance of cancer research

Columbia, MD - MedStar Health, a community-based network of seven Baltimore/Washington area non-profit hospitals and other healthcare services, and Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University have joined forces as the presenting local sponsor of the 2005 Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of HopeTM Baltimore to Washington, DC, fundraising ride.

Now in its third year, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope is a nine-day journey across America by a team of cyclists who have a passion for cancer research. Led by cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, The Tour of Hope team includes survivors, caregivers, advocates, researchers, nurses and physicians. This year, the 2005 Tour of Hope riders will ride across mountains and over plains, sharing their personal stories, and will continue to motivate communities along the route to learn more about the benefits of cancer research.

The 2005 Tour of Hope Team began their nine-day journey across the United States on September 29 with a kick-off event in San Diego. The team will cover more than 3,300 miles throughout its inspirational journey and will participate in events in the Phoenix area, El Paso, Austin, Houston, Jackson, MS, Atlanta, Greenville, SC, and Charlotte on their way to a triumphant Grand Finale on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C.

Leading up to the Grand Finale on Saturday, October 8, the 50-mile route of the Tour of Hope Baltimore-Washington fundraising ride will kick off at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD, where more than 1,000 cyclists will converge to ride in the name of cancer research. Additionally, a 10-mile ride will begin in Glen Echo, MD. In all, approximately 1,500 riders will have raised at least $500 each, which will support cancer research through the Tour of Hope's partner organizations. In 2003 and 2004, the Tour of Hope fundraising ride has raised over $2 million.

"As the region's leader in cancer care, MedStar Health and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center are proud to partner with Bristol-Myers Squibb to present the Baltimore to Washington DC fundraising ride of the 2005 Tour of Hope," said MedStar Health Chief Executive Officer, John P. McDaniel. "Each year, more than 7,000 cancer patients in this region trust the experienced physicians and cancer care specialists who provide compassionate and expert oncology care as part of MedStar Health -- more than any other Mid-Atlantic healthcare organization. It is this leadership position in cancer care and clinical trials that makes MedStar Health and Lombardi the perfect regional partners for this year's Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope fundraising ride," continued Mr. McDaniel.

Hundreds of MedStar Health's employees are teaming up to serve as ride volunteers staffing each rest stop along the route. MedStar is also providing ambulance service throughout the ride and is providing Emergency Room physicians to supply medical care to the riders as needed.

MedStar Health delivers unprecedented cancer care, research and clinical trials through its network of world class hospitals and research institutions. Led by the Lombardi MedStar Research Initiative, MedStar Health is able to expand the reach of Georgetown University Medical Center's renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center throughout the hospitals within MedStar Health. This creates a single, large practice in clinical oncology that spans two metropolitan areas, shares resources and expertise, streamlines the processes to get clinical trials approved, and significantly increases benefits for cancer patients.

"The primary objective of Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is to provide the most advanced treatments available to our patients," said Richard Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., FRACP, director of Lombardi Cancer Center. "We're proud to support the Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope, and to play a role in educating people about the importance of cancer research and clinical trials -- which ultimately brings us closer to a cure for this devastating disease."

Pestell, along with David Fajgenbaum (NHS '07), a Georgetown undergraduate student who founded a national support group for college students who have lost a parent to cancer, are representing Georgetown as Tour of Hope riders on Team MedStar.

In addition, students from Georgetown's McDonough School of Business are participating in the ride. Together with the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC), 12 Georgetown MBA students will ride with Team MBA for the local leg of the Tour of Hope. The team showed their dedication to raising awareness of patient enrollment in clinical cancer trials by signing up more than 50 cyclists, who each raised at least $500 for a total of over $25,000 towards cancer research.

The Lombardi MedStar Research Initiative includes the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown, Washington Cancer Institute at the Washington Hospital Center, National Rehabilitation Hospital, RadAmerica, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute at Franklin Square Hospital Center, the HarborView Cancer Center at Harbor Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Union Memorial Hospital, and the MedStar Research Institute.

As part of its efforts to help communicate the importance of clinical trials in cancer research, MedStar is launching a new clinical trials Web site. The new site, www.medstarclinicaltrials.org, will provide information about clinical trials taking place in the Baltimore - Washington, D.C. region and will include helpful links to all of the cancer services, programs and oncology physician specialists at each MedStar hospital.

MedStar Health, a $2.4 billion healthcare organization and community-based network of seven non-profit hospitals and other healthcare services in the Washington/Baltimore region, is the regional leader in cancer care and clinical trials, treating more than 7,000 cancer patients each year. As the area's largest health system, it is one of it's largest employers, with more than 22,000 employees and 4,600 affiliated physicians, all of whom support MedStar's patient-first philosophy that combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information go to www.medstarhealth.org.

Georgetown University Hospital is a 609-licensed bed, not-for-profit, acute care teaching and research facility based in Northwest Washington, D. C. Georgetown Hospital's clinical services represent one of the largest, most geographically diverse and fully integrated healthcare delivery networks in the area. Georgetown University Hospital is home to the internationally known Lombardi Cancer Center as well as nationally ranked programs in cancer, gynecology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, rheumatology and urology. Georgetown University Hospital is a proud member of MedStar Health. For more information go to www.georgetownuniversityhospital.org.

The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Lombardi is one of only 39 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to www.lombardi.georgetown.edu.