Meyers awarded for legacy of compassionate care for cancer patients
Posted March 10, 2010
Frederick J. Meyers, executive associate dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been awarded the prestigious Lane Adams Quality of Life Award from the American Cancer Society, which recognizes excellence in the provision “of compassionate care and support to individuals with cancer.” Meyers will accept the honor at a special American Cancer Society event in Atlanta on May 6.
The award is named for Lane W. Adams, a former executive vice president of the society, who established the award in 1985 to provide special recognition to nurses who provided extraordinary and compassionate care to their patients. The award later grew to include other cancer caregivers including physicians, hospice workers, clergy, social workers and hospice workers. According to the American Cancer Society, the award recognizes those “unsung heroes of cancer care who provide what Lane W. Adams himself affectionately referred to as the warm hand of service.”
Meyers certainly fits the bill, said Woodland resident Margaret Neu, whose elderly mother received cancer treatment and palliative care from Meyers before her death in 1996. In a long and heartfelt letter supporting his nomination for the award, Neu described the compassionate way in which Meyers took care of her mother from the moment they first entered the cancer center until their last interaction years later. He never hurried their visits, she said, and each time inquired after the well-being of every member of the family.
“I am convinced that because of Dr. Meyers’ compassionate care, all aspects of my mother’s quality of life were greatly enhanced, from her physical well-being to her ability to accept her diagnosis, to her spiritual peace of mind.”
— Woodland resident Margaret Neu
Meyers “is not afraid to make himself vulnerable to loss by sharing himself with his patients and learning about their families, their lives and stories,” she wrote. “I am convinced that because of Dr. Meyers’ compassionate care, all aspects of my mother’s quality of life were greatly enhanced, from her physical well-being to her ability to accept her diagnosis, to her spiritual peace of mind.”
Meyers is a nationally respected expert in medical oncology, including clinical research. He played a pioneering role in the hospice movement. He established programs that now serve as national models for compassionate and systems-based end-of-life care, often integrated with expert attention to treatment and survivorship.
The Lane Adams Quality of Life Award is one of numerous honors Meyers has received in recent years for his contributions to the field of medicine. Among them: election as a Master of American College of Physicians, the prestigious Circle of Life Award from the American Hospital Association and the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association’s Excellence in Palliative Medicine Award.