NEW YORK, NY, November 8, 2018 – Helping to advance revolutionary research in prostate cancer and delivery of precision treatments to U.S. Veterans, the John and Daria Barry Foundation has donated $2.5 million to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) to establish the John and Daria Barry Precision Oncology Center of Excellence at the Manhattan Campus of the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System (VANYHHS). The Barry Center of Excellence will address the clinical needs of Veterans currently battling prostate cancer in the New York metropolitan area and beyond. The Barry Center of Excellence will also serve as a precision oncology hub in the PCF’s preeminent network of centers executing the ambitious mission of improving the care of U.S. Veterans with prostate cancer. Due to the cancer-causing mutations in prostate cancer that may be found in different types of cancer, this investment will have implications for many other forms of life-threatening cancer.
“The establishment of this new Center of Excellence will enhance precision delivery of advanced cancer treatments to our nation’s Veterans, who have sacrificed so much to protect us, our values and our freedoms,” said Elizabeth Barry Swanson, executive for the John and Daria Barry Foundation. “Focusing on advanced cancer treatments and cures for Veterans leads to better cancer treatment and cures for everyone, an initiative the Barry Foundation is dedicated to supporting.”
New York Harbor Healthcare System (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island) is part of the New York/New Jersey VA Integrated Service (VISN 2), which serves 500,000 Veterans in 76 counties in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania offering a wide range of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient medical services.
“Dedicating the John and Daria Barry Center of Excellence truly is a perfect tribute to our sacred duty to honor the sacrifice and service of those who have served leading up to Veterans Day,” said Danil Makarov, MD, MPH, chief of urology and executive director of the John and Daria Barry Center of Excellence at VA’s Manhattan campus.
“We are very honored by this gift that allows us to better serve current patients and will benefit the diagnosis and treatment of our Veteran patients far into the future,” said Martina Parauda, director of the VANYHHS.
The Barry Center of Excellence will expand access to precision medicine at the Manhattan VA. The goal of a precision medicine approach is to tailor treatments to each patient’s cancer based on their unique biology. State-of-the-art molecular testing will allow doctors to match patients to treatments based on a genetic understanding of their disease. The precisely targeted treatment reduces toxicities of one-size-fits-all treatments that are unlikely to be effective. Genetic counseling and cutting-edge clinical trials are among the best-in-class care options that the Barry Foundation will make possible for Veterans.
“John and Daria Barry have directed their visionary philanthropy to one of the most urgent areas in medicine. This landmark commitment will not only serve our nation’s heroes, but it enables us to deliver more precise diagnostics and therapeutics to our Veterans. It will pave the way for improved cancer research and care that will have a lasting impact on generations to come,” said Jonathan W. Simons, MD, PCF’s president and CEO.
The John and Daria Barry Foundation is leading by example and lending a hand to groups nationwide striving to improve the lives of returning Veterans. One out of every nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Each year in New York State, about 14,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and almost 1,700 men die from the disease. It is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among Veterans, accounting for a third of all male cancer cases. African-American men, who represent approximately half of all advanced prostate cancer cases diagnosed in the Manhattan VA, are 73 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer and are 2.3 times more likely to die from the disease than any other race or ethnicity.
While accelerating the delivery of precision oncology to Veterans at the VA’s Manhattan campus, the team supported by the John and Daria Barry Foundation will also advance critical scientific knowledge that will broadly impact the medical research community’s ability to deliver life-saving precision treatments and cures not only to Veterans nationally, but millions more diagnosed with cancer globally.
The VALOR Commencement Ceremony dedicating the Barry Precision Oncology Center of Excellence will take place on Thursday, November 8 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the New York Harbor Healthcare System’s Manhattan Campus Atrium, 423 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010.
About the Prostate Cancer Foundation
The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer and other research. Founded in 1993, the PCF has raised more than $765 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research programs at more than 210 cancer centers and universities. The PCF global research enterprise extends to 22 countries and funds a robust research portfolio. The PCF advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more efficient investment of governmental research funds for transformational cancer research. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer. More information about the PCF can be found at www.pcf.org.
About the Department of Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System
The Department of Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System is committed to providing outstanding health care and social services to the men and women who have so proudly served our nation. The system consists of two tertiary care medical centers located in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and a community living center located in St. Albans, Queens. The Department also operates two community-based clinics in Harlem and Staten Island, serving New York, Kings, Queens, and Richmond counties. VANYHHS is a part of the Veterans Integrated Service Network, which includes facilities throughout New York State and northern New Jersey.
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Prostate Cancer Foundation
Donald Wilson for the Prostate Cancer Foundation