A new endowment chair named for a well-known local doctor will help improve cancer care in Pittsburgh.
University of Pittsburgh football player James Conner may be Dr. Stanley Marks' most recent high-profile cancer patient, but he is just one of thousands of patients and survivors who consider Marks not only their doctor but their friend.
Margo Brown saw Dr. Marks for two occurrences of breast cancer.
"For the first time, I felt determined that I could beat this and so optimistic about my future," Brown said. "Basically, (Dr. Marks) instilled hope in me."
Marks' colleagues at UPMC CancerCenter think just as highly of him.
"I've had countless medical students and fellows and residents tell me that he is constantly teaching. He uplifts everybody around him. He encourages everybody around him," said Dr. Pervaiz Rahman.
Rahman said they all respect him so much, all 48 partners at the clinic contributed money to create the new Stanley Marks-OHA Endowed Chair in Hematology/Oncology Leadership.
"We thought it would be an uphill task, but every time we called one of our colleagues and said, 'It's in Stan Marks' name,' the contributions just came in very easy," Rahman added.
The honor, just announced this week, made Marks emotional.
"To be acknowledged by your colleagues and your partners at this level is really special to me," said Marks.
UPMC matched the partners' contributions, so the endowment stands at $2.2 million, and it is growing.
"The purpose of the chair is to enable us to recruit a medical and scientific star, a leader, to come to the cancer institute," Marks added.
It also will help train new doctors and researchers devoted to hematology and oncology, which would eventually greatly affect the care of cancer patients in the area.
Marks called his colleagues amazing for helping to create this honor, and said none of it would be possible without their support and the support of his patients.
"We are a family. You have your ups and downs, but when I look back over the three-plus decades, it's really been a great ride."