BMJ SPC Editor-in-chief receives Supportive Oncology Award

– NEWS –

Prof. Walsh receiving his award at ASCO
Prof Declan Walsh, editor-in-chief of BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, has received the Walther Cancer Foundation Endowed Supportive Oncology Award at the 2023 ASCO Annual Meeting in June. The award goes to distinguished leaders who have contributed significantly to palliative and supportive oncology care.


Prof Walsh said: “It is an honour to receive this award. It is a sign that the area of supportive oncology is getting increasing attention and recognition, and that the field is developing rapidly,”.

As a strong advocate for supportive oncology, Walsh’s work has focused on improving the quality of life for cancer patients by managing treatment-related suffering. His pioneering efforts in integrating various supportive services, including palliative medicine, cancer rehabilitation and psycho-oncology into a single department, has markedly transformed cancer patient care.

In 1987, Walsh launched the first palliative care program in the U.S. at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center. Here, he developed acute care and home care services to assist patients and their families with decision-making, complication management and symptom control. His significant work in palliative care served as a springboard to address the more complex challenges faced by cancer patients. By 2017, with support from Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute, he created the first-ever department of supportive oncology that integrates services such as rehabilitation, nutrition, surgical oncology prehabilitation and survivorship.

“Looking toward the future, our goal is to share the lessons we’ve learned and the model we’ve created with health care systems, both in the U.S. and globally,” said Walsh. “We want to see this type of comprehensive, supportive care become the standard for cancer treatment worldwide. This award propels us forward in that endeavor.”
Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center played a significant role in the 2023 ASCO conference, where physicians shared ground-breaking research findings on the latest diverse cancer studies, which could lead to improved treatments and enhanced patient care. The involvement of these esteemed institutes underscores Atrium Health’s commitment to advancing cancer care, sharing its knowledge and driving meaningful discussions within the global oncology community.

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