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Della Penna Family Funds Second Endowment at Fox Chase Cancer Center; New Endowment supports John A. Ridge Endowed Surgical Oncology Fellowship

PHILADELPHIA (January 10, 2006) - Members of the Fox Chase Cancer Center community honored Carol and Louis E. Della Penna Sr. and their generous gifts to the Center at a special tea on Tuesday, December 6, 2005. The Della Pennas gave Fox Chase Cancer Center a $500,000 gift to name and endow the John A. Ridge Surgical Oncology Fellowship. This is the second gift from the Della Pennas. In 2003, they gave a $1 million endowment gift to urologic oncology research.

The $1 million endowment helped establish a clinical outcomes information database, which allows doctors to compare patient outcomes to different types of surgical techniques. The gift benefits both clinical and basic research involving urologic cancers, such as cancers of the prostate, kidneys, bladder, testicular, ureter and urethra.

The Ridge fellowship, established this year to recognize John A. "Drew" Ridge, MD, PhD, chief of head and neck surgery, provides for the two-year training of a physician in the field of surgical oncology. The first recipient of the John A. Ridge Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Fox Chase Cancer Center is Kimberly M. Brown, M.D.

The Della Penna family has had a personal attachment to Fox Chase for many years now. The relationship was formed when Louis Della Penna, founder of a successful employee benefits consulting company, came to Fox Chase Cancer Center with a throat problem and was examined by Ridge. Della Penna's throat problem turned out to be something minor, but after reviewing his medical history and conducting routine tests Ridge referred Della Penna to Richard Greenberg, MD, chief of the urologic oncology department. After running some follow up tests, Greenberg determined that Della Penna had stage III kidney cancer, and a treatment plan was implimented.

At the special tea on December 6, Della Penna stated that "without these two very special Fox Chase surgical oncologists who took a little bit of extra time to ask questions, I know I wouldn't be here today."

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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