The new Rena Rowan Breast Center was dedicated last week. Rena Rowan, internationally recognized fashion designer, business woman, philanthropist,as well as an SSW overseer, christened the 11,000 square foot facility on the 14th floor of the Penn Tower Hotel which is designed specifically to treat and care for women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. The Center will officially open to patients on November 6.
Dr. John Glick, director of the Cancer Center and director of the Abramson Cancer Research Institute, called the creation of the new Center, "an extraordinary milestone in the history of the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center." He said that its mission is to provide "outstanding integrated, comprehensive and compassionate care, special attention to detail and sensitive treatment in a comfortable, intimate and supportive environment."
President Judith Rodin said she was proud to dedicate this extraordinary facility, especially during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She presented Ms. Rowan with a citation which noted that, "Her commitment to the realization of the Rena Rowan Breast Center and her dedicated advocacy for the enhancement of women's health serve as inspiration to the multitudes whose lives have been touched by breast cancer."
Dr. Rodin also noted that Penn students have been involved in volunteer service activities to benefit breast cancer patients, including the 5K Rena Rowan Ribbon Run later this month .
Dr. Rodin then thanked the Abramsons for forging a national model with their gift in 1997, creating The Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the Cancer Center (Almanac December 16/23, 1997).
Rena Rowan-Damone, a breast cancer survivor, noted the "wonderful treatment" she had received at the Penn Cancer Center. She said it is very fulfilling to be able to give back to the community considering her difficult beginnings. Born in Poland, she was exiled to Siberia for three years during World War II with her mother and sister, separated from her father who was also deported. After escaping to Tashkent, the family was reunited in Iran, but her father was killed in an accident in 1944. She married an American officer and came to the U.S. in 1945. Her four children were born here; after a divorce she began making clothes for neighbors and friends to earn money to support her family. This brought out her talent and led her to the fashion industry. She had been the EVP of Jones New York until early 2000. Before that she had been the head designer there until 1980. In 1998 she married Vic Damone, and today she devotes her time and energy to helping others.
Dr. Kevin R. Fox, associate professor of hematology-oncology, will be the medical director of the Rowan Breast Center. There will be more than 40 Penn scientists, physicians, nurses, counselors, nutritionists and other health care professionals forming an interdisciplinary team to serve the unique medical, emotional and personal needs of breast cancer patients.
The Center's Breast Cancer Risk Evaluation Program, recognized as one of the foremost in the nation, is directed by renowned expert in the field, Dr. Barbara L. Weber.
The Center will focus on diagnosing and treating breast cancer patients at all stages of their disease. Along with patient exam rooms that reflect Ms. Rowan's creative design, the Center will house eight private chemotherapy suites equipped with home-like comforts such as televisions and CD players for those patients who require five or more hours of chemotherapy treatment.
Another unique feature to the Rena Rowan Breast Center will be an on-site Boutique staffed with experts who will offer advice and guidance on selecting prosthetic supplies and cosmetic accessories such as breast molds, wigs, scarves, and hats.
Additionally, nutrition specialists, rehab instructors and psychological counselors will be available to the patient, making the transition through diagnosis, treatment and survivorship go smoothly. Patient education will be available through the Wellness Center.
Tom Seamon, who has led the Division of Public Safety for the past five years, has accepted a position as CEO for TrainLogic, Inc., a law enforcement and security training and consulting firm in Blue Bell, PA. He will assume his new position on November 1.
In announcing Mr. Seamon's departure, President Judith Rodin said, "This is a great loss to the University, but it is an incredible opportunity for Tom. As TrainLogic's first CEO, he will oversee the development and growth of the company's innovative new programs and services."
"Tom Seamon is one of the best law enforcement executives in the country, and we have benefited greatly from his commitment and expertise during the past five years. He has built one of the most progressive university public safety programs in the country, and has played a vital role in our ongoing and successful efforts to make Penn safer for all members of the University community and our neighbors. We are extremely grateful to him for his dedication and leadership."
President Rodin announced that Chief of Police Maureen Rush will assume day-to-day leadership of the division while a search for a permanent replacement is undertaken. Dr. Rodin said, "We are fortunate to have someone with Maureen's proven ability and commitment to the University to fill this critical role."
Mr. Seamon came to Penn in September 1995 after a long and distinguished career with the Philadelphia Police Department. During his tenure at Penn, he oversaw the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategic plan of safety and security for the University, which integrates police, security guard services, and state-of-the-art security technology, including alarm systems, access control and closed circuit television.
He also designed and managed construction of a new public safety facility at 4040 Chestnut Street that houses all safety and security services.
Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 7, October 10, 2000