Pap Corps Makes $3.2 Million Gift to Cancer Research at Sylvester

Fueled by the work of more than 21,000 volunteers, The Pap Corps: Champions for Cancer Research, presented its annual gift to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine — a check in the amount of $3.2 million.

The check presentation, made April 30 at the group’s President’s Meeting at the Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, is part of the group’s $25 million commitment to Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School of Medicine, and CEO of the University of Miami Health System, called the gift “awesome” as he described what it means for South Florida’s only academic cancer center. “This annual gift allows us to continue funding research that leads to new treatments and diagnostics. I know that with The Pap Corps behind us, we will beat cancer.”

The Pap Corps: Champions for Cancer Research has grown tremendously in both size and scope since its inception in 1952, but its mission has remained the same: to enable and support vital research that someday may lead to a world without cancer.

“By raising millions of dollars each year for cancer research,” said Donna E. Shalala, President of the University of Miami, “The Pap Corps has made Sylvester a magnet for some of the top cancer researchers and clinicians in the nation. We couldn’t be more grateful for the Pap’s dedication.”

Among the top clinicians drawn to Sylvester is the cancer center’s new director, Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., who leaves Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to take the helm in early May. One of the world’s premier leukemia and stem cell transplant experts, Nimer brings 30 years of pioneering research and clinical experience to Sylvester. “Knowing the importance of research funding,” said Nimer, “I cannot overstate the value of having such a dedicated group of volunteers behind us at Sylvester.”

This year, as The Pap Corps celebrates its 60th birthday, it boasts more than 21,000 members organized into 55 chapters across Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. In fact, it has become the largest all-volunteer organization in the U.S. dedicated solely to funding research on all types of cancer.

Since it began under the leadership of five women, the organization has donated more than $40 million to cancer research at Sylvester – more than $29 million in the last 10 years alone. Its annual gift to the cancer center provides critical seed money that scientists and researchers need to apply for grants from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and other funding organizations.

“We are very proud of our achievements over these past 60 years,” said Naomi Prever, outgoing president of The Pap Corps. “We have witnessed some incredible scientific advances that have helped countless people live longer, more productive lives.”

Incoming president of The Pap, JoAnne Goldberg, said she couldn’t be prouder to lead the dedicated organization. “The work that the members do to enable us to present Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center with a check of this amount is overwhelming. We know that the money The Pap Corps raises each year enables the researchers and doctors to continue their work in the fight to rid the world of this crippling disease.”

The Corps is named for George Papanicolaou, the inventor of the pap smear—a diagnostic tool used to detect cervical cancer. Papanicolaou was the former director of the then-Dade County Cancer Institute, which merged with UM’s original Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1984.

When the new Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center opened in 1992, the Papanicolaou research laboratories were relocated to UM’s medical campus.

Sylvester, part of UHealth, the University of Miami Health System, opened a satellite facility in Deerfield Beach in 2003 and also has clinical offices and treatment centers in Kendall and a recently opened facility in Plantation to better serve patients in southern Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

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