Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and Jefferson Health Launch the Neu Center for Supportive Medicine and Cancer Survivorship
Gift will Establish a Center Dedicated to Support Holistic Psychosocial Cancer Care
PHILADELPHIA —The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson received a $3 million development donation from education and healthcare philanthropists Esperanza and David Neu to establish the Neu Center for Supportive Medicine and Cancer Survivorship. The Center will serve as a comprehensive resource for psychosocial care and research, ensuring patients feel supported and emotionally healthy as they confront and recover from cancer.
“As oncology therapies have advanced, our patients are living longer lives with the disease and in recovery,” says Karen E. Knudsen, PhD, Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) and the Hilary Koprowski Professor and Chair of Jefferson’s Department of Cancer Biology. “The psychological trauma associated with a diagnosis must be treated as an extension of our standard treatment protocols; this insight is what makes the Neus’ gift so impactful.”
“When I received my cancer diagnosis, my world stopped,” says David Neu. “Future plans and life itself quickly became a question mark. We recognized there is a profound social and emotional element to the disease, and I was fortunate that Jefferson treated more than just my cancer. We made this gift because we believe every patient can benefit from this type of holistic, compassionate care."
David Neu is an accomplished healthcare executive and was a longtime leader at AmerisourceBergen Corporation, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical services companies. Mr. Neu served in various executive roles prior to his retirement last year. He is among the first business leaders to see the potential of pharmacies to offer more expansive healthcare services and to be sites of care in any community healthcare effort. Mr. Neu serves on several non-profit boards across the country, and recently joined the SKCC Advisory Council.
Esperanza Martinez Neu served for many years as a human resources executive before retiring last year, and is a highly recognized women’s leader in Philadelphia. She is chair of Congreso de Latinos Unidos’ Board of Directors, a non-profit organization in Philadelphia committed to strengthening Latino communities by providing social, health, employment and educational services. Mrs. Neu also serves on the Advisory Board of the Healthcare Business Woman’s Association, Greater Philadelphia Chapter.
Research will be a key component of the Neu Center. A team of Jefferson population health scientists will work closely with the supportive care team to conduct studies that will evaluate the effects of psychosocial support intervention on patients and their caregivers. These studies will examine how stress, quality of life, resource utilization, cost, cancer outcomes and risk of treatment-related adverse effects are impacted by the implementation of robust psychosocial support services. Additionally, the Center will develop a population health effort to increase clinical trial enrollment through enhanced visibility and awareness among patients.
The Neu Center will first pilot services in Jefferson’s Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, where Mr. Neu received care. Working in concert with SKCC as a fully-integrated part of Jefferson’s multidisciplinary cancer program, the Center will provide additional social workers and patient navigators who are essential to understanding a patient’s condition and ensuring care is delivered in a psychologically-informed manner.
“This innovative new care model will provide patients with the additional support required during their cancer treatment — combined with the high touch they have come to expect from Jefferson,” says Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.
“We are deeply grateful to the Neu family for their vision and willingness to make sure that we have the resources to meet the holistic needs of our patients and their respective caregivers,” says William M. Keane, MD, the Herbert M. Kean Professor and Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. “We believe these kinds of expanded services will become part of the new standard of care. This is an important step forward for Jefferson and the patients we serve.”