Press Release: Karl C. Podratz, M.D., Ph.D., Elected Chairman of the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation

Chicago, May 2003—The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) announced that Karl C. Podratz, M.D., Ph.D., has been elected the new chairman of its Board of Directors. Dr. Podratz is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation is a charitable organization that works to heighten public awareness about gynecologic cancer, early diagnosis and proper treatment, as well as support research and training related to gynecologic cancers.

“The opportunity to lead the Foundation at a time when we have such hopeful information for women is exciting,” said Dr. Podratz. “For example, we now know now more about the cause of cervical cancer—the human papillomavirus (HPV). Plus, we have a new screening approach for women over 30 that combines the Pap test with the HPV test. If the Foundation, through its educational efforts, can convince women to be screened, I am confident that we can eliminate cervical cancer as a cause of death among American women. Medical and surgical advances are also increasing the life expectancy for women with ovarian cancer. And, education programs are making women ever more educated consumers of gynecologic health care. This is wonderful news for women and their physicians.”

Dr. Podratz follows Wesley C. Fowler, Jr., M.D. who chaired the Board of Directors since 1997. He will continue to serve as a member of the Foundation’s Board.

A graduate of St. Louis University, Dr. Podratz earned both a M.D. and Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1974. A gynecologic oncologist by training, from 1986-2000 he chaired the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mayo Clinic, where he was named the Joseph I. and Barbara Ashkins Professor of Surgery in 1990. Dr. Podratz has served on the Foundation Board since 2000 and is a Past President of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists.

“The Foundation is dedicated to the support of research and training opportunities for all gynecologic cancers,” noted Podratz. “Our additional public education role makes involvement with the Foundation rewarding for all of us who have the opportunity to participate.”

Commenting on the election of Dr. Podratz, Dr. Fowler, said, “Dr. Podratz brings a vision of leadership and commitment to this position, and his deep passion for providing women with the information necessary to make them true partners in decisions about their health care is recognized by his peers and patients. This quality is particularly important for gynecologic cancers where there are often important choices in terms of treatment options.”

The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization established by the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists in 1991 to support research related to gynecologic cancers, to fund training of clinician scientists, and to increase public awareness and information related to gynecologic cancers and their precursors. The mission of the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) is to ensure public awareness of gynecologic cancer prevention, early diagnosis and proper treatment. GCF advances this mission by increasing public and private funds that aid in the development and implementation of programs to meet these goals. GCF was named by Worth Magazine as one of “America’s 100 Best Charities.” Of the 26 health organizations listed, GCF was one of only two organizations solely focused on women’s health.

Spotlight

Visit the Sisterhood of Survivorship page to read “Dena’s Story” — by a vulvar cancer survivor who has shared her story and wise words, and channeled her energy into her National Race to End Women’s Cancer team.

Awareness

Vaccine efficacy against vulvar infection with HPV 16/18 was comparable to the efficacy found against cervical infection 4 years after vaccination, according to researchers with the National Cancer Institute.

Research

The Foundation has published its 2014-2015 Research Grants and Awards Booklet with Applications. Please consider applying to become part of an elite group of physician-scientists committed to the well-being of women at risk for/affected by gyn malignancies.

Education

The next Ovarian Cancer Survivors Course will be Saturday, July 26, 2014 in Boston. For more information on courses, click here.