But for Ohio State Shatters Fundraising Records

Last fall, The Ohio State University celebrated the conclusion of its record-breaking But for Ohio State campaign, which had raised more than $3 billion from some 750,000 donors since the campaign’s start in 2009. Gifts to Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) made up an impressive part of that total, with $420 million directed toward the vision of creating a cancer-free world.

An enormous “thank you” is in order, says Stephen Chaykowski, executive director of development—not only to the thousands of donors whose gifts continue to inspire excellence at the OSUCCC – James, but also to the many volunteers who made this campaign possible.

“I cannot thank our volunteers enough—from the Foundation Board and their tremendous leadership, to our James Ambassadors who are out there spreading the word, and all of the folks in our community and beyond who have worked so hard on behalf of the OSUCCC — James,” Chaykowski says.

The Philanthropy inspired by the But for Ohio State campaign has ignited tremendous progress, including the 2014 opening of the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Support generated by the campaign also helped open the doors to the new Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center, established new endowed chairs and research funds, and supported many other initiatives—all of which have increased the OSUCCC – James’ ability to recruit and retain the best researchers and clinicians while boosting patient care.

Without funds generated by the campaign, says David Schuller, MD, retired vice president of OSUCCC – James Medical Center Expansion and Outreach, the new James would not have a unique architectural design that incorporates patient care, research and education on every floor. “It is thanks to philanthropy that the hospital has set a new architectural standard that is admired worldwide.”

Schuller notes that gifts of all sizes made this possible. “This campaign was a great example of how very large gifts, such as the $10 million from the Coughlin family’s JEGS Foundation, and more modest gifts, such as the Little Garden Club of Columbus purchasing a cart to maintain the terrace gardens on the 14th floor of the new hospital, are all critical,” he explains. “It was a combination of all gifts that made the campaign successful.”

Not only did the But for Ohio State campaign raise dollars that continue to transform the OSUCCC – James, but it also raised the community’s awareness of the valuable cancer-fighting resource in its own backyard. Theodoros Teknos, MD, chair of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, served as medical director of the campaign and represented the OSUCCC – James at hundreds of community-based events, including many Pelotonia fundraisers. It was a privilege, says Teknos, to help introduce the OSUCCC – James to a much wider audience. “The most rewarding moments of the campaign, for me, were when people came to realize the immense breakthroughs The James is making in cancer research.”

Teknos’ work on behalf of the campaign also instilled in him a strong appreciation for those whose behind-the-scenes efforts made a difference during the campaign, such as the development staff and those who run events and make them look seamless.

Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of The James, concurs. “The But for Ohio State campaign was a team effort, resulting in unprecedented advances for our cancer program. Thanks to our team and the many supporters who have humbled us through their giving, a cancer-free future is within reach.”

Milestones Reached During the Campaign

2009: AR-12, a drug invented by OSUCCC – James researchers that inhibits solid tumor growth, begins clinical trial testing.

2009: The Leapfrog Group names the OSUCCC – James one of the safest and most effective hospitals in the nation.

2010: The OSUCCC – James receives an “Exceptional” rating from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)—the highest descriptor possible.

2010: Ohio State research shows that the presence of human papillomavirus in tumors is the most important predictor of survival in patients with oropharyngeal cancer.

2010: The NCI awards Ohio State $11.5 million to study potential targets for new anti-leukemic drugs.

2011: The Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center opens.

2011: Ohio State’s Drug Development Institute is founded.

2012: Ohio State identifies a marker for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that tells doctors which patients should start treatment quickly and which can safely wait.

2012: A clinical trial begins to test a tomato-soy drink designed by OSUCCC – James investigators to prevent the recurrence of prostate cancer.

2013: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health award Ohio State $18.7 million to study the use of tobacco products.

2013: The OSUCCC – James achieves “Magnet” status, recognizing the hospital for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovation in professional nursing practice.

2014: Ohio State partners with the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida to launch and co-anchor a collaboration called the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN) that shares de-identifed clinical data from consenting patients to support research and help match patients to clinical trials.

2014: The FDA approves the drug ibrutinib for treating certain patients with CLL, thanks largely to work done at the OSUCCC – James.

2014: The new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute opens.

2015: The OSUCCC – James receives a second consecutive “Exceptional” rating from the NCI.2015: The American Cancer Society calls Ohio State’s research identifying a key pathway that cancer cells use to make lipids (fats) needed for rapid tumor growth one of “10 Key Breakthroughs and Insights for 2015.”

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