Audrey Evans, MD, a pediatric oncologist from Philadelphia, was recently named the 2014 recipient of the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s (PAMED’s) Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Evans was nominated for the award by the Philadelphia County Medical Society for her work to improve the lives of children. She is known as a pioneer in the clinical study and treatment of childhood cancers, particularly neuroblastoma.
Now 89, Dr. Evans is best known for her role in creating the original Ronald McDonald House in 1974. The facility gives families of young cancer patients a place to stay while their critically ill children receive treatment. In 1986, she established the Ronald McDonald Camp where children, despite illness, could live their dream of enjoying summer camp. She is also a founding member of the National Wilms Tumor Study, which is dedicated to the survival of children with Wilms tumor and other renal tumors.
Born in York, England, and trained at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, Scotland, she came to the U.S. in 1953 as a Fulbright Fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital. While in Boston, Dr. Evans was responsible for some of the first trials of what are today’s leading chemotherapy agents. Dr. Evans was appointed head of the hematology-oncology unit at the University of Chicago Clinics in 1964, and was then recruited to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) by the late Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD, a past recipient of PAMED’s Distinguished Service Award.
Retiring from CHOP in 2009, she continued her focus to improve the lives of children – this time by addressing educational needs. Today, she continues to secure funding so that underserved youth are given the opportunity for sound education to prepare them for graduation and beyond.
The Distinguished Service Award will be formally presented to Dr. Evans on October 18 during PAMED’s annual House of Delegates meeting.