On Jan. 7, the UF Health Cancer Center held its annual “Cheers to the New Year” party to celebrate the Cancer Center’s accomplishments in 2019 and acknowledge employees whose efforts were essential to its success.
The party included food, drinks and live music. Director Jonathan Licht, M.D., gave a short speech and presented awards to 12 Cancer Center members, including faculty and staff in the department of health outcomes & biomedical informatics (HOBI).
Hee Deok Cho, a data management analyst with HOBI, received UFHCC’s Population Sciences Research Staff Member of the Year award, which recognizes a research staff member in cancer‐relevant population sciences who has made extraordinary contributions that enhance the success of the science conducted within the center.
“Although he works behind the scenes, Hee Deok is responsible for managing and analyzing key cancer data sets for the Cancer Center,” said Jaclyn Hall, Ph.D., assistant research scientist in HOBI, who nominated Cho for “consistently going above and beyond to assist the UFHCC in all its endeavors.” Cho generated the data tables and maps describing the cancer burden in North Florida for many of the reports and presentations during the National Cancer Institute’s recent site visit.
Ramzi Salloum, Ph.D., an assistant professor in HOBI and a member of the Cancer Center, received one of two “2019 High-Enroller Awards” given to Cancer Center providers who enrolled the most patients in an interventional clinical trial.
Sue Colson received the UFHCC Community Outreach Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to community engagement aimed at preventing cancer and supporting cancer patients, their families and cancer caregivers. Colson chairs the advisory board for the UF Cancer Center’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement, which is directed by HOBI faculty member Sarah Szurek, Ph.D.
Colson has served in leadership roles as a city commissioner, mayor and vice mayor in her hometown of Cedar Key since 2003. A licensed RN, she has also worked with cancer patients and provided hospice care as a charge nurse in Chiefland for more than 7 years.
“As the chair of the COE Advisory Board, Sue Colson has worked tirelessly to advance the mission of the COE office and the Cancer Center through her engaged leadership,” Szurek said.
Most recently, Colson served as an expert panelist for the Health Resources & Services Administration’s 2019 National Rural Health Day on Nov. 21 with a film screening of “The Providers.” The documentary, produced by Independent Lens and PBS, gives a human face to the physician shortage and opioid epidemic in rural America. The panel discussed themes, challenges, solutions, and opportunities to improve the health of North Florida residents.
“We are grateful for Sue’s guidance and expertise,” Szurek said.