The Mary Brickell Trailblazer Award, named after one of Miami’s founders, is given by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce to those at the forefront of achieving something significant, a leader in their field. On August 7 that award was presented to Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., on behalf of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Sylvester was given this award after recently earning NCI designation, becoming the only cancer center in South Florida and the second in the state to receive this prestigious recognition from the National Cancer Institute.
As the featured speaker at the Chamber’s Trustee Luncheon, Dr. Nimer said he was representing the hundreds of physicians, researchers, administrators and staff who work tirelessly at Sylvester to discover a better understanding of cancer and find different ways to treat and prevent it.
He explained how accomplishing NCI designation is of great value to the community.
“We are now the only health system in South Florida able to provide cutting-edge treatments for our patients through the NCI’s clinical trials program,” said Dr. Nimer. “We have worked together in multidisciplinary teams to become one of the nation’s great cancer centers. Now there is no reason for people to leave this community for treatment.”
A few days before the luncheon, Sylvester hosted the annual Survivorship Celebration at Marlins Park for cancer survivors, their family members and caregivers. Dr. Nimer spoke about meeting a young woman who is about to start her freshman year in college after fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
“Maria had symptoms of her cancer for many months. Then she went to Sylvester and learned she had a curable disease. Where you are diagnosed matters,” Dr. Nimer said.
He thanked key organizations that have been tremendous supporters of Sylvester: the state of Florida and its elected officials, the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, the Pap Corps Champions for Cancer Research, the Sylvester Family Foundation, Sylvester’s Board of Overseers and the dedicated board members of the University of Miami and UHealth.