Fifty Valley women gathered March 27 at The Joy Bus Diner in Scottsdale for the spring luncheon of Women Inspiring Scientific Progress. WISP, chaired by Suzanne Hensing, is a circle of women working in collaboration with Banner Health to raise awareness of women’s and family health issues through education and philanthropic support.
Dr. Fade Mahmoud, medical oncologist, and Allison Beavers, senior manager of clinical services, both from the T.W. Lewis Melanoma Center of Excellence at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, spoke on melanoma and skin cancer prevention. Beavers shared information on the importance of sun protection, and Mahmoud discussed the promise of immunotherapy in improving melanoma survival rates.
Jan Lewis, who with her husband, Tom, pledged a $2 million matching gift through the T.W. Lewis Foundation to establish the T.W. Lewis Melanoma Center of Excellence, also spoke. Lewis shared Tom’s journey with melanoma and how it inspired them to invest in this area of health care. Arizona has the highest rate of death from melanoma in the U.S.
Opened in late 2017, the T.W. Lewis Melanoma Center saw approximately 450 patients in its first year, started six new clinical trials, and held some 100 educational community events on sun safety, skin cancer prevention and the importance of regular screenings.
A portion of the luncheon’s proceeds went to The Joy Bus, a nonprofit organization that collects and cooks donated food for volunteers to deliver to cancer patients around the Valley.
WISP members each make an annual contribution of $1,000, pooling their gifts to invest in Banner Health programs important to women and their families.
PHOTOS COURTESY BANNER HEALTH FOUNDATION