On This Day: Lee Graff Medical and Scientific Library Dedication

August 20, 2014

L to R: Percy Solotoy, Abe Bolsky, Lee Graff, Mike Hersch, and Mannie Fineman.
[Photo Courtesy of City of Hope Archives]

Surrounded by friends and family, Lee Graff, officially opened the Lee Graff Medical and Scientific Library on August 20, 1984. The new facility was the tangible result of the Graff family’s many years of support and connection to City of Hope. That association began when Mrs. Graff and her late husband, Seymour Graff, joined the Merchants Club. She was serving as a member of the Board of Directors when she learned that a comprehensive library was at the top of the medical and scientific staff’s wish list. A committed and tireless supporter, she quickly set about to raise funds. She provided an endowment and enlisted colleagues, business associates and friends to raise additional dollars. By the time of the groundbreaking in May of 1983 over $1.35 million was raised.

While the building bears Mrs. Graff’s name, it also honors her husband, Seymour.  Mrs. Graff invoked the shared vision she and her husband had of the value in contributing to City of Hope at the ribbon-cutting ceremony in 1984. This vision included the importance of community service. She told guests, “You cannot truly know yourself until you have helped those in need.”






Telethons, marathons and teleramas: Researching Wish ‘Em Well

August 14, 2014

[Courtesy of City of Hope Archives]

What’s the difference between a telethon, marathon, and a telerama when it involves fundraising? While drafting “Wish ‘Em Well: Raising Funds to Fight Cancer” for City of Hope’s City News magazine, my research began with learning about the history of telethons since TV Telethon appears on the hats of the women, men, and children posing for the photo seen here.  Then I spent time going through the Archives collections to see what I could find out.

General research revealed that Milton Berle hosted the first telethon in 1949 for the Damon Runyan Cancer Foundation while City of Hope held its first telethon in 1951. Telethons were also held in 1952, 1953, 1955, and 1959.

The Archives collections include records (correspondence, clippings, script cards, and a receipt book) related to the 1951, 1952, and 1953 telethons. The 1951 and 1952 records use telethon and marathon when referring to the event.

[Courtesy of City of Hope Archives]

In the midst of researching telethons, I received an online invitation from Donald W. Ballard, author of Disneyland hotel 1954-1959: The Little Motel in the Middle of the Orange Grove to view a 1957 “telerama”, a live television benefit broadcast in Southern California on KTLA (Channel 5) to raise funds for City of Hope.  Ultimately, telethon seemed like the best word to use to describe the event.

The Cancer Letter August 8, 2014

August 11, 2014

The August 8, 2014 issue of Cancer Letter has been posted.

Why Health Literacy is Important to Me

August 11, 2014
by Laura Brown, MLS, Clinical Librarian

Many years ago, my interest and involvement in patient education activities evolved into a deep seeded concern for health literacy issues.  I was horrified by the statistics. According to The National Assessment of Adult Literacy, only 12% of Americans are fully health literate (defined as having the necessary tools to manage their health care effectively). We, as health care workers, have no way to significantly increase the tool set that our patients bring to this equation.  The only way we can realistically combat this problem is by making the health care system easier to navigate with the tools our patients already have.  There are a lot of creative ideas on how to simplify the equation and last May I was exposed to some of them.

The Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s (IHA) 13th Annual Health Literacy Conference was held May 7-9 in Irvine, CA. I was able to attend thanks to an educational stipend from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Southwest Region.  A newsletter article written for their publication tells about what their Consumer Health and Technology Coordinator Kelli Ham and I brought away from that experience (click on the title below to read the article).

Improving Health Literacy: Applying Knowledge Gained from the IHA Health Literacy Conference

The Cancer Letter August 1, 2014

August 4, 2014

The August 1, 2014 issue of Cancer Letter has been posted.

Stem Cell Research News August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014

The August 4th issue of the Stem Cell Research News has been posted

Clinical Cancer Letter June 2014

August 1, 2014

The June 2014 issue of The Clinical Cancer Letter has been posted.