Acclaimed Miami artist Peter Tunney donated his time and talent to help Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center launch a “Game Changer” outreach vehicle that will bring cancer screenings and health information to underserved South Florida communities. Using images from Sylvester’s history and mission, Tunney created an original piece of art to “wrap” the mobile van, which was unveiled with a spray of champagne outside Tunney’s Wynwood studio on Wednesday, February 28.
“Tonight, we celebrate another step in our incredible journey to becoming one of the world’s top cancer centers,” said Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, at a private reception for more than 100 Sylvester board members, donors, medical staff and other guests at the Peter Tunney Experience in Wynwood Walls.
“Early cancer detection is crucial to better outcomes, and this van will help us reach people who are now disconnected from the health system and positively impact their health,” Nimer said. “There is no limit to what we can do for our community with all your support.”
Starting next week, the Game Changer vehicle will be rolling out to Little Haiti, Liberty City, South Miami-Dade, and LGBTQ neighborhoods – four communities that experience higher cancer incidence and mortality rates, according to Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate director of Sylvester and senior associate dean for health disparities at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
“We are taking Sylvester to the streets,” said Kobetz, who leads the collaborative Game Changer project, which will also provide HIV/AIDS screening and education. “This amazing vehicle is a living canvas that represents the great work being done every day at Sylvester. We are excited to partner with many other wonderful organizations and people like Peter Tunney, who are committed to moving the dial on health disparities.”
At the reception, Nimer and Kobetz presented Tunney with a paint-splattered Sylvester lab coat. In turn, Tunney donated his original “Game Changer” artwork and a limited edition set of 25 prints to Sylvester to support its clinical, research and outreach mission.
“We need to spread the message about cancer detection,” said Tunney. “I hope the Sylvester van starts conversations and encourages people to come inside for education and checkups. In my view, the painting is minor, but the van is a truly a game changer.”