From the Northeast Times November 21, 2001

Fox Chase Cancer Center chief gets a top title

By Nicole McLaughlin
Times Staff Writer

Administrators and staff at the Fox Chase Cancer Center know they have a gem when it comes to their president and CEO, Dr. Robert C Young.

And now the world knows it too.

Young recently earned the prestigious title of national president of the American Cancer Society, the nation's leading voluntary health agency in the fight against cancer.

He officially accepted the role on behalf of his predecessor, Dr. Dileep G. Bal, on Nov. 3 during the American Cancer Society's annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

Due to his extensive involvement with the American Cancer Society, Young was approached by the organization's nomination committee about the possibility of being the president four years ago.

He than began to go through the "structured" nomination process, and after all of the candidates were reviewed, Young was selected as the national president.

Although he has been an active member in the American Cancer Society at the local, state and national levels for over 12 years and is a member of the ACS's national board of directors, it was quite an honor for Young, who is the first Philadelphian in 25 years to receive the title.

"I was surprised when I was chosen," Young said. "It's quite an honor and quite prestigious, and I think it reflects well on me and on the institution."

Young enjoys his job and is excited to accept his new responsibilities, and that's evident as he talks about the organization.

A Plethora of Volunteers

"The American Cancer Society is an extraordinary organization," Young said. "There are two million volunteers across this country who are committed in various ways to reduce the burden of cancer.

"It's the only organization in existence that has a national infrastructure with the ability to deliver messages and cancer-control activities in every community across the country, and that's one of the things that interests me and excites me about the organization," he added.

Through his role and with the help of the organization, Young will be able to reach many individuals.

"We're providing an enormous amount of information to the public about cancer, cancer treatment and the steps to take to reduce your risk of developing cancer," he said.

Even though he has only been at the job for several weeks, Young has plenty of goals. One of them focuses on the quality of cancer care.

"It turns out that many people get wonderful care once they enter the health-care system, and many people don't," he said. "One of the things I want to spend some time on is talking about the steps one takes to try and guarantee that you're going to get better cancer care once you enter the health care system."

Although his new duties will require a lot of his attention and time over the next year, Young will stay on as president of the Fox Chase Cancer Center.

"It's a challenge because I like to have a good understanding of what's going on and I like to be involved in major decisions," he said. "I'm just going to have to delegate all of that this year."

The Columbus, Ohio, native attended Ohio State University as an undergraduate and received his doctorate from Cornell University Medical College in 1965. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine, hematology and oncology.

Young was previously the associate director of the community oncology program at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. He came to Fox Chase in December 1988 and has spent much of the last 13 years studying Hodgkin's disease, lymphoma and ovarian cancer.

Young's credentials are quite impressive. He is on the board of scientific advisors of the National Cancer Institute and is a former president of two groups - the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the International Gynecologic Cancer Society. He is also a former chairman of the board of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Young feels that his involvement with the American Cancer Society and the other organizations will be a great asset in his new role.

"I can bring information back and forth in a way that I think is a unique opportunity for me in this particular role," he said. "I hope to be able to produce more coordination and collaboration between major cancer research organizations and to accelerate and facilitate the pace of cancer research."

Young resides in Chestnut Hill with his wife, and he thoroughly enjoys working at Fox Chase.

"I love it," he said. "It's just been a wonderful experience. It's a wonderful environment for science, and we've been able to build a very strong program for cancer prevention and cancer control."

However, for Young, it all comes down to the staff.

"The most exciting and rewarding thing for me is the level and dedication and commitment of the employees at this institution," he said. "People have a very good idea about what we do and why we're here. So people take personal ownership in the institution in a way that is remarkable."

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