Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and five-time Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon continued his support of Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health by announcing his 24th gift towards pediatric cancer research. Riley Children's Foundation also paid tribute to Gordon's 14 years of support with touching tributes involving those who benefit the most from Gordon's efforts: current and past Riley kids who are cancer survivors.
As founder of the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation and supporter of Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, Gordon has now contributed $3.8 million to Indiana's only comprehensive and nationally ranked children's research hospital. Thursday's $300,000 gift establishes the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation Pediatric Oncology Physician Scientist Training Program. The grant will support training the next generation of oncology-focused pediatric physician scientists.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) workforce report, the number of physician scientists in the United Sates who are under age 50 has decreased by 50 percent from 2006 to 2012. All available evidence indicates this decline in critical workforce is continuing.
Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation Pediatric Oncology Physician Scientist Training Program allows the Indiana University Department of Pediatrics and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health to construct a multifaceted program aimed at encouraging and incentivizing fellows to become involved in research, including protecting their time from clinical duties in order to pursue important pediatric research. These advances will bring pediatric translational research to the forefront of pediatric oncology, and ensure children with cancer in Indiana and beyond continue to receive the latest medical treatments.
Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation proceeds have previously established The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation Pediatric Cancer Research Fund at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health and the Wells Center for Pediatric Cancer Research at Indiana School of Medicine. Funding provides vital resources for researchers seeking to improve treatments and discover cures.
"I am very proud of our long-standing partnership with Riley Hospital for Children," said Jeff Gordon. "Expanding our support in the field of pediatric cancer research at Riley to encompass training the next generation of pediatric oncology physician scientists is really exciting. We know that in order to cure all pediatric cancers more research is needed, and the support of talented researchers to carry out that research."
Every year approximately 360 children are diagnosed with cancer in Indiana. As a national leader in providing clinical care and conducting research for children with cancer, Riley Hospital treats 80 percent of those cases. Dozens of research programs are being conducted by Riley experts to help cancer patients. Donors who support the Riley Cancer Center and its research programs are helping doctors saves the lives of children in Indiana and across the globe.
About Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation
Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation was established as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 1999 by the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. The Foundation supports children battling pediatric cancer by funding programs that improve patients' quality of life, treatment programs that increase survivorship and pediatric medical research dedicated to finding a cure. For more information visit www.jeffgordonchildrensfoundation.org.
About Riley Children's Foundation
Riley Children's Foundation supports Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, Camp Riley and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home. As Indiana's only comprehensive hospital dedicated exclusively to the care of children, Riley Hospital has provided compassionate care, support and comfort to children and their families since 1924. Each year children from all 92 Indiana counties turn to Riley Hospital and its regional clinics throughout the state more than 300,000 times. Riley Hospital's partnership with Indiana University Health and its strong affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine make Riley Hospital the leader in pediatric care in the state and the region. For more information, visit RileyKids.org.