Tuesday, January 24, 2006

From Segregation to Success: Surgeon LaSalle Leffall Tells of His Personal and Professional Odyssey, February 21

Chestertown, MD, January 24, 2006 — Washington College's Office of Diversity Affairs presents "No Boundaries: A Cancer Surgeon's Odyssey," a talk by LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S., the Charles Drew Professor of Surgery at the Howard University College of Medicine, Tuesday, February 21, 2006, at 7 p.m. in the college's Hynson Lounge. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Leffall's autobiography,No Boundaries: A Cancer Surgeon's Odyssey, was just released in September by Howard University Press. A book signing will be held immediately following the talk.

The first African-American president of the American Cancer Society and the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Leffall grew up in the Depression-era South and triumphed over segregation and discrimination to become a renowned surgeon, oncologist, educator, and medical spokesman. Graduating first in his class in 1952 from the Howard University College of Medicine, he has been the recipient of numerous professional and civic awards during a professional career that has spanned more than 50 years. His professional life has been devoted to the study of cancer, especially among African Americans, and, as president of the American Cancer Society, he worked to focus national attention on the disturbing disparities between blacks and whites in cancer prevalence, treatment, and mortality.

Dr. Leffall has taught thousands of medical students and has held numerous high-level positions in surgical and cancer-related organizations. In 2002, he was selected by President George W. Bush to chair the President's Cancer Panel, working with cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. As the current board chair of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation-renowned for its "Race for the Cure" awareness campaign-he stresses the need for early detection and treatment of breast cancer. In addition to research and clinical work in oncology, Dr. Leffall's career has also focused on the ethical issues related to cancer survivorship. Along with his teaching and organizational duties, Dr. Leffall maintains a busy private practice, seeing hundreds of patients each month. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife Ruthie.

Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, it was the first college chartered in the new nation.

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