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For Immediate Release: February 8, 2006
Luis Baez-Diaz, MD, FACP, to Receive Association of Community Cancer Centers’ Community Clinical Scientist Award
ROCKVILLE, Md.—Luis Baez-Diaz, MD, FACP, of the San Juan VA Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be one of three physicians to be honored with the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ Community Clinical Scientist Award. The award recognizes active community clinical research leaders and is given in recognition of Dr. Baez-Diaz’s contributions in the fight against cancer.
The award will be presented to Dr. Baez-Diaz during the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ 32nd Annual National Meeting at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, in Arlington, Va., March 15, 2006.
Dr. Baez-Diaz is the principal investigator of the San Juan Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program (MB-CCOP), a position he has held since the program began in 1990. Under his leadership, the program engaged the interest and support of physicians in exploring ways to better communicate cancer information and risks/benefits of treatment and prevention to the community. Thanks in large part to his efforts, since 1990, more than 600 patients have been entered into National Cancer Institute-sponsored treatment trials and more than 860 patients have been accrued to cancer prevention and control clinical trials by the San Juan MB-CCOP. In addition to the core clinical facilities of the grant, the Veterans Administration Hospital, San Juan Oncology Group, and the City Hospital of San Juan, additional sites in Ponce, Manati, and San Paolo have affiliated with the MB-CCOP. These additions have significantly increased patient access to NCI-sponsored clinical trials from other regions of the island. Since these additions in 2001, enrollment in cancer prevention and control trials has increased by 67 percent.
The newly established Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) Community Clinical Scientist Award recognizes active community clinical research leaders who have demonstrated leadership in the development, participation, and evaluation of clinical studies or are active in the development of new screening, risk assessment, treatment, or supportive care programs for cancer patients.
Dr. Baez-Diaz, and the two other award winners, will become lifetime members of the ACCC National Academy of Community Oncology Scientists, which will serve as a valuable resource to ACCC, the National Cancer Institute, pharmaceutical companies, and other organizations involved in community-based cancer research.