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April 18, 2008
Broadcasters, entertainers honor pediatric oncologist
for leadership in fight against childhood cancer
NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young presents achievement award to
Dr. Jeanette Pullen at Children’s Miracle Network meeting in Orlando
By Jim Albritton UMC News
Orlando, Fla.—Dr. Jeanette Pullen, former chief of the division of pediatric hematology-
oncology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, was honored for her instrumental role in the fight against pediatric cancer at a Children’s Miracle Network meeting in Orlando.
Hundreds of on-air personalities from TV and radio stations in the US, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom joined with celebrities from stage, screen and gridiron at Walt Disney World Resort to honor Pullen and three others with the Children’s Miracle Achievement Award.
The award is given annually to four caregivers from CMN hospitals throughout North America for their lifetime of service to children.
Dr. Owen B. Evans, chairman of pediatrics at UMC, and Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young presented the award to Pullen as hospital representatives, journalists and entertainers looked on.
“It is a wonderful honor for an extraordinary physician who has been instrumental in coordinating
pediatric cancer research efforts throughout the nation,” said Evans. “Jeanette has made it her life’s mission to rewrite the story of childhood cancer. Her work ethic, clinical skills, and dedication to her patients represent the best of our profession.”
Before Pullen began her work as a pediatric oncologist in 1969, the overwhelming majority of children with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) did not survive. Today, thanks in part to her leadership, this disease—once a near-certain cause of death—is now treatable.
Over the years Pullen helped coordinate the efforts of children’s cancer centers across the US in the research and development of treatment for ALL—the most common childhood cancer. As
a member of the national Pediatric Oncology Group and Children’s Oncology Group, she has
led research studies that have yielded lifesaving knowledge and more effective treatments for
children with leukemia. As a result of this cooperative research, death rates of children with ALL have plummeted as the cure rate has climbed to more than 80 percent.
As Pullen’s list of honors grows, her humility remains constant. “It’s a team effort,” she was quick to point out as she accepted the award. She heaped praise on her colleagues at the Mississippi Children’s Cancer Clinic at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children at UMC who help children battle cancer through a caring team-based approach and on the broadcasters and companies that support them.
“There are teams like ours at children’s hospitals all over the country and none of us could do
our work without your support,” said Pullen to a crowd of thousands that included corporate sponsors and radio and television partners from all over North America. “You devote extensive time and creative effort to raise money for our hospitals—money that is used to provide patients
with life-saving care, education, research, and equipment. Thanks to all of you for what you do for the Batson Hospital and other children’s hospitals in North America and now in Europe.”
“Dr. Pullen knows that hospitals need help and ongoing support to provide all the care necessary to treat sick children,” said Tena McKenzie, interim director of the division of public affairs at UMC. “By working with organizations like CMN and the Junior League of Jackson, she
was the driving force that built the Mississippi Children’s Cancer Clinic. And she understood
that community involvement and support were crucial to its success.”
McKenzie, who nominated Pullen for the award, was joined in Orlando by several of the TV and radio personalities in Mississippi who raise money for the Batson Hospital each year during the CMN Celebration broadcast on WJTV News Channel 12 and the Mississippi Miracles Radiothon that airs on eight Radio People-owned stations in Jackson, Meridian and Vicksburg. Natchez radio station WQNZ 95 Country—broadcaster of the Miss-Lou Miracles Radiothon—was also
“In my profession we look for compelling stories that make an impact on people’s lives,” said WJTV anchor Linda Allen who also attended the awards ceremony. “And Dr. Pullen is a clear example of one of those stories. Her dedication and commitment to the children of Mississippi is reason enough for WJTV to support the Batson Hospital through our annual broadcast of the CMN telethon and in other ways throughout the year.”
Other award recipients included physician-in-chief Dr. Ralph D. Feigin at Texas Children’s
Hospital in Houston, lead neonatologist Dr. Gregor Alexander at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando and clinical nurse specialist Rosella Jefferson at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Children’s Miracle Achievement Awards were sponsored by Delta Air Lines. Children’s Miracle Network co-founders Marie Osmond and John Schneider headed up a list of celebrities that participated in the CMN meeting or performed in honor of Pullen and the other award recipients. They included: singer Taylor Hicks, Miss America Kirsten Haglund, Olympian Mary Lou Retton, Donny Osmond and The Osmonds, singer John Rich of the country duo Big and Rich, Scrubs actor Neil Flynn, radio and TV host Glenn Beck, acrobatic performing group Cirque Dreams and PGA Golfer Nick Faldo. The entire Osmond family also performed as part of their celebration of 50 years in entertainment.
Children's Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals. Each year the 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventive education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. Since 1986, CMN has helped raise more than $13 million for the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children at UMC.
More information about the Mississippi Children’s Cancer Clinic and the Batson Hospital is
available online at www.umc.edu.
Dr. Owen Evans and Steve Young @ 200dpi
Dr. Owen Evans, chairman of pediatrics, and former NFL quarterback Steve Young, introduce Children’s Miracle Achievement Award recipient Dr. Jeanette Pullen at the annual Children’s Miracle Network production meeting in Orlando, Fla.
Dr. J Pullen Accepts Award in Orlando @ 200 dpi
Dr. Jeanette Pullen, former chief of the division of pediatric hematology-oncology, speaks to thousands of radio and TV broadcasters as she accepts an award for her lifetime of service to pediatric cancer patients.
Dr. J Pullen with Patient @ 200 dpi
Dr. Jeanette Pullen with patient Carley Hill of Brandon in front of a wall of photos at the Mississippi Children’s Cancer Clinic at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Dr. Pullen along with other physicians, nurses and researchers at the clinic have treated hundreds of pediatric cancer patients from all over Mississippi.