The Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center is located on the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center campus in Oklahoma City. Under the guidance of Robert Mannel, MD, Director, the mission of Stephenson Cancer Center is to improve and extend the lives of cancer patients through:
- Providing patient-centered, comprehensive care
- Conducting innovative basic, translational and clinical research
- Raising the level of cancer awareness and prevention among individuals and populations
- Educating the next generation of cancer health care professionals
- Serving as a statewide resource for patients, researchers, health professionals and communities
Members of Stephenson Cancer Center - including faculty from OU Health Sciences Center, OU Norman, OU Tulsa, Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation - conduct innovative and nationally-funded cancer research in the basic, clinical and population sciences. Regardless of expertise or home institution, all members of the Cancer Center share a common goal: reducing the morbidity and mortality caused by cancer in Oklahoma and beyond.
In 2001, the Oklahoma Legislature charged OU with providing statewide leadership in cancer research, prevention and education, and treatment and seeking designation as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) comprehensive cancer center designation. This status signifies the highest level of cancer research and care in the nation. In addition to the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center facility in Oklahoma City, there is a new branch of Stephenson Cancer Center on the OU-Tulsa Schusterman Center campus. The two story facility in Tulsa houses exam, consultation and treatment rooms dedicated to cancer patients.
In 2002 the NCI awarded the Cancer Center a P20 Planning Grant to lay the groundwork for Oklahoma's first and only NCI-Designated Cancer Center. Achieving this designation, the gold standard for cancer research and care in the United States, will mean that Oklahomans will no longer need to travel out-of-state for comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer care.
Oklahoma moved one step closer to NCI-Designation in November 2004 when state voters approved State Question 713, which restructured and increased the tax on tobacco products. Revenues from this tax are targeted for a number of health care initiatives, including the construction of a $120 million cancer clinical research and treatment facility in Oklahoma City and smaller facility in Tulsa. The Cancer Center will be a major cancer resource for cancer patients, investigators and health professionals from around the state and across the nation.
In 2006, the University of Oklahoma launched a $50 million private fundraising campaign to create endowed chairs and establish programs in cancer research and clinical care. The Campaign was completed in November of 2010 with a historic $12 million donation from Peggy and Charles Stephenson of Tulsa, Oklahoma to benefit cancer programs for all Oklahomans. In recognition of the Stephensons' commitment and to underline OU's mission of serving the entire state, the OU Board of Regents approved a new name for the Cancer Center: The Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center. The Healing Garden will also carry Mrs. Stephenson's name.
A major recruiting effort launched in 2009 will bring nationally-recognized cancer physicians and researchers to Oklahoma. These experts will work in many areas, including breast and gynecological cancers, pediatric cancers, and lung, colorectal, bladder and prostate cancer. They will bring clinical and research expertise, grant funding, and the experience necessary to launch innovative clinical trials to test the latest drugs and therapies. They will connect the citizens of Oklahoma with the latest developments in cancer prevention, detection, treatment and cure.
Cancer Center health professionals and researchers have been attacking cancer head on, whether in the laboratory, clinic or community. Their efforts are building a strong foundation for all Oklahomans with cancer.