Over $1.5 million was raised and nearly 400 guests attended NYU Langone Medical Center’s annual Perlmutter Cancer Center Gala, raising funds for a variety of activities to benefit patients and their families, to advance promising research, and support the training of the next generation of oncology experts. Held at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan on October 19, the event honored three individuals for their dedication to the fight against cancer: Beatrice W. Welters, a member of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center Board; her husband, Anthony Welters, a member of the NYU Langone Board of Trustees; and Mark B. Pochapin, MD, the Sholtz/Leeds Professor of Gastroenterology in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone.
The evening was emceed by actor Kyle MacLachlan, best known for his performance as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper in David Lynch’s series Twin Peaks, for which he received two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award. MacLachlan believes it is important to enhance awareness about cancer screening as a means of prevention, and said, “It’s great to be here tonight, with so many individuals who tackle cancer head-on every day. Thank you, to each of you here, for the important work that you’re doing to help diagnose and treat individuals who are affected by this rampant disease.”
A National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center with numerous sites throughout New York City and Long Island, the Perlmutter Cancer Center is experiencing a period of growth and revival. Under the leadership of Benjamin G. Neel, MD, PhD, director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Langone continues to increase the breadth and depth of expertise at the center. Of note, over the last year, seven distinguished physicians and researchers have joined the faculty. The Perlmutter Cancer Center offers a multidisciplinary approach and a nurturing environment for patient care, coupled with tremendous breadth and scope in basic science and translational research. This allows the center to rapidly move important findings from the laboratory to the bedside, including exciting new treatment opportunities through clinical trials.
Lori Fink, chair of both the event and of the Perlmutter Cancer Center Advisory Board, and a trustee of NYU Langone, greeted the audience and said, “At the Perlmutter Cancer Center, our incredible doctors and scientists are led by the amazing Ben Neel, whose leadership is truly changing the game on cancer prevention and treatment. And these efforts are strengthened enormously by the Perlmutter Cancer Center’s remarkable partners, individuals like our honorees Bea and Tony Welters, who inspire us daily.”
About Beatrice Welters
A breast cancer survivor, Beatrice Welters recently established an innovative program at NYU Langone, the Beatrice W. Welters Breast Health Outreach and Navigation Program. A grassroots initiative under the auspices of the Perlmutter Cancer Center, the program was created to advance access to important information on breast cancer and the benefits of screening mammography in medically underserved communities throughout New York City. She and her husband are recipients of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service in recognition of their longstanding commitment to philanthropy. Mrs. Welters is a former United States Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
About Anthony Welters
Anthony Welters is executive chairman of the BlackIvy Group, LLC. He recently retired as senior adviser to the Office of the CEO of UnitedHealth Group, where he served in leadership positions for two decades. He is a founding member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a recipient of a Horatio Alger Award for those who have overcome adversity and made significant contributions to society, and a member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
About Dr. Mark Pochapin
Dr. Pochapin’s work as a clinician and researcher is focused on the prevention, early detection, and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers. He is also dedicated to public outreach and education in this area, and serves as a leader in the national initiative to increase colorectal cancer screening—a collaborative effort that has led to an accelerated decline in colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates over the past decade.
“Mark Pochapin is honored this evening for being an exceptional physician, a leader in his chosen field, and a compassionate, caring physician. He’s the ultimate professional and has transformed gastrointestinal medicine at NYU Langone. I am thrilled to congratulate Mark on this well-deserved recognition,” said Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone, in his opening remarks.
Dr. Grossman also announced a separate $1 million gift. “Laurie and Ike Perlmutter, our partners who have enabled a new era for our cancer center, they are making a difference and I would like to announce their $1 million gift to the Welters Breast Health Program— just one more reason to express our gratitude and appreciation.”
Guests in attendance included Elisabeth Cohen, MD, Thelma Duggin, Larry Fink, Sarah Wolf Hallac, Elaine and Ken Langone, Janet Montag, Bruce Pergament, Jean and Raymond Troubh, John Weiland, and Cynthia Zirinsky.
Deborah (DJ) Haffeman