By Alison Krawczyk
For 50 years, Dana-Farber’s Fellowship Program in Hematology/Oncology has attracted the brightest early career physicians, researchers, and nurse-scientists to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in their pursuit of specialized training opportunities in cancer medicine. The incredible success and longevity of this fellowship program is a result of philanthropic support, which continues with a recent gift from Dana- Farber Trustee David Dechman and his husband, Michel Mercure. Their gift of $5 million includes the establishment of the Dechman-Mercure Endowed Fellowship.
The gift from Dechman and Mercure will help prepare academically oriented physicians to become leaders in clinical and laboratory investigation, clinical care, and education, and advance the search for cures for all cancers. The Dechman-Mercure Endowed Fellowship will allow early career physician-scientists the opportunity to pursue an idea and gather the data they need to advance their research beyond the early stages, which is often more risky and harder to fund because there is no evidence yet that the new idea will be productive.
“There has been such enormous progress in research and treatment since I’ve been involved with the Institute,” said Dechman, who has been a Trustee for nearly 30 years. “We wanted to celebrate that progress with this gift, but also raise the bar for the future. Curing cancer is a big, complicated assignment and everyone must do their part to contribute. We’re fortunate that we can support the work in this way.”
Dechman and Mercure decided the most effective way to raise the bar for the future was to combine a lifetime commitment with a bequest in their estate plans to maximize their support to The Dana-Farber Campaign, the multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer by accelerating revolutionary science, extraordinary care, exceptional expertise, and essential opportunities. Their gift supports the campaign priority of exceptional expertise, which aims to provide all the resources and tools Dana-Farber’s people need to revolutionize cancer research and care now and in the future.
“Curing cancer is a big, complicated assignment and everyone must do their part to contribute. We’re fortunate that we can support the work in this way.”David Dechman, Institute Trustee
“Support from our Board of Trustees is always vital to our work, but it has been especially integral to the success of The Dana-Farber Campaign,” said Dana-Farber President and CEO Laurie H. Glimcher, MD. “David is a wonderful board member and his service as a member of the Campaign Cabinet has been tremendous. This gift will have great impact on our junior faculty, innovative research, and the future of cancer research and care.”
Through his professional lens as an investment and financial advisor, Dechman recognizes the long-term benefit of making a gift to Dana-Farber. He said, “In the world of investing, you have many choices of where to put your funds. You try to make the choice that will be most successful and have the highest possibility of a good outcome. The depth, breadth, and quality of the program at Dana-Farber is world-class and the team has the momentum and knowledge to propel this work forward. It is a wise place to invest.”
With the proven success of the Fellowship Program in Hematology/Oncology for half a century, it is clear that Dechman and Mercure’s investment in this program at Dana-Farber will only further its influence and impact.