Chancellor Named Cancer Institute Auxiliary Distinguished Honoree

By Marty Trieschmann

About 60 guests attended, including UAMS board members, Cancer Institute leaders and auxiliary board members.

2021 Auxiliary President Gretchen Leech praised Patterson’s leadership during the pandemic as one of the many reasons the group selected him for the honor.

Patterson joins the company of previous recipients including Kent Westbrook, M.D.; James Suen., M.D.; Laura Hutchins, M.D.; Ronda Henry-Tillman, M.D.; John Shaughnessy, Ph.D.; Janie Lowe; Rangaswamy Govindarajan, M.D.; Matthew Steliga, M.D.; Frits van Rhee, M.D., Ph.D.; Richard Nicholas, M.D.; Aubrey Hough, M.D.; Peter Crooks, Ph.D.; and Thomas Keiber-Emmons, Ph.D.

Cancer Institute Director and UAMS Vice Chancellor Michael Birrer, M.D., Ph.D., spoke about Patterson’s accomplished career and visionary leadership of the institute’s work toward NCI designation.

“I cannot think of a more appropriate person for this award than Cam Patterson,” said Birrer. “Dr. Patterson joined UAMS in 2018 after serving New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center where he was senior vice president and chief operating officer of one of the largest health systems in the country. Prior to that, he had an illustrious academic and clinical career at the University of North Carolina where he served as executive director of the McAllister Heart Institute and chief of the cardiovascular service line.

“During that time, he garnered over $60 million in NIH peer-reviewed grant funding and published over 300 articles in many high impact publications. To say that he has a wonderful academic career and impressive administrative tradition in leadership is an understatement,” Birrer said.

“Most importantly, he created the vision to make the path to NCI designation a top priority for UAMS.”

Humbled by the honor, Patterson spoke about the importance of NCI designation to the state and expressed his gratitude to the auxiliary, Cancer Institute board, UAMS board and all of Team UAMS.

“We did this together,” Patterson said.

The Cancer Institute Auxiliary is a volunteer organization dedicated to providing information, service, compassion and hope to those whose lives are touched by cancer. Since its inception in 1997, the auxiliary has awarded nearly $3 million in grants. To learn more, visit

Janie Lowe, CVM, serves as director of the UAMS Cancer Institute Department of Volunteer Services and Auxiliary.