Local philanthropists have given $1 million to Hawaii’s Straub Medical Center to further develop its cancer care research and clinical trials representing the most significant donation to cancer care at Straub since its inception. The center is on the move to improve health care and research option access to move cancer patients in Hawaii.

The Funders

Local philanthropists Barry and Virginia Weinman understand the importance of clinical trials and clinical research as a care movement and what this represents for the State of Hawaii. Presently, many cancer patients have to leave the island, reported Ms. Weinman. An incredible burden and inconvenience, the Weinman’s put serious skin in the game to improve life for all Hawaiians that can benefit from new research. 

Barry Weinman has served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Hawaii Foundation since 2002. He is co-founder of Allegis Capital, a $600 million Silicon Valley venture capital fund and co-founder and Chairman of DragonBridge Capital, a Honolulu and Beijing Merchant Bank.

Virginia Weinman is a graduate of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and also has a Masters in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling. She currently serves on several local charitable boards and is the President of the Weinman Foundation. She was the founder and President of Allusions.com, a multimedia development company, and had served in the Reagan Administration.

Straub Medical Center

Honolulu based Straub Medical Center, employs 400 physicians representing leaders in their fields offering patients with expert diagnoses and treatments for more than 32 different medical specialties, including orthopedics, cardiac care, neurology, cancer, endocrinology/diabetes, family medicine, gastroenterology, geriatric medicine, internal medicine, women’s vascular and urology.

Fully accredited by the Joint Commission, the center houses the Pacific Region’s only multidisciplinary burn treatment center and prides itself on introducing new technologies and innovative practices to Hawaii. The center has a strong partnership with the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, which could become stronger with the funding.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Ian Okazaki, chief of medical oncology, will serve as the principal investigator for this cancer treatment expansion. He told Pacific News that the funding will afford Straub to now access and tap into advanced, state-of-the-art clinical trials that heretofore were not available. He noted, “This grant was important because it allows us to do these complex clinical trials.” He continued, “Clinical trials allow patients to have access to technology that can advance cancer care.”

Background

Named after George F. Straub—educated in Germany and arrived in Hawaii to practice in 1907. By 1921 he founded this clinic. Many years later, it became part of the Hawaii Pacific Network, which was formed in December 2001 with the merger of four hospitals, including Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & ChildrenPali Momi Medical Center, Straub Clinic & Hospital, and Wilcox Memorial Hospital. It is the largest private healthcare organization in Hawaii.

Clinical Trials are Key

Virginia Weinman noted, “Clinical trials in Hawaii are very important to the people of Hawaii.” She continued, “Sufferers of cancer often need to leave the islands to participate in clinical trials on the Mainland that sometimes will determine the outcome of their cancer. Not only does this inconvenience burden cancer patients financially, but it also takes them away from their family and support groups for weeks, months, or longer.”

Hawaii Pacific Health’s Liz Wright, director of oncology services, told PBN the gift aligns nicely with the UH Cancer Center mission as well as Straub’s mission to offer multifaceted care, medical team coordination, and research in one location. Ms. Wright emphasized, “This gift will allow us to manage more complex trials, which help doctors determine whether new treatments are safe and effective, compared to current treatments.”

Lead Research/Investigator

Dr. Ian Okazaki, chief of medical oncology

Source: Pacific Business News

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