James Y. Suen, M.D. Center of Excellence

Honoring a World Leader in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Cancer Surgery

An Opportunity to Give to the James Y. Suen, M.D. Center of Excellence in Head and Neck Cancers in the UAMS College of Medicine & Name the Multidisciplinary Clinic floor of the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute

The Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) invite you to contribute to Arkansas’ only comprehensive academic medical center while honoring a most remarkable scholar, surgeon and leader: Dr. James Y. Suen.

Dr. Suen is a world-renowned physician in the highly specialized field of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. He is a distinguished professor in the UAMS College of Medicine and has served as chair of the Department of Otolaryngology since 1974.

With over 41 years of continuous service, this 1966 graduate of the College of Medicine is believed to be the longest serving chair of Otolaryngology in U.S. history.

Dr. Suen recently announced his intention to step down from his post of chair in June 2016.

He will continue to practice and teach at UAMS, providing world-class care for patients and lending his expertise and inspiration to many more students, residents and colleagues in the years ahead.

The Early Years

Two events sealed James Y. Suen’s future as a physician: an auto accident and a conversation with his sister.  As a second-year math major at the University of Texas, the Dermott, Arkansas, native decided that a math degree was not in his future — but a medical degree wasn’t on his radar either.  
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Acclaimed Scholar and Teacher

Dr. Suen has coauthored seven editions of  major medical textbooks, including four editions of “Cancer of the Head and Neck,” which is used by medical schools worldwide and considered the definitive textbook in the field. Two of his textbooks are about vascular anomalies of the head and neck, which are very difficult to treat.  
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World-Renowned Surgeon
Dr. Suen is internationally known for his expertise in complex head and neck cancers, vascular lesions of the head and neck, and diseases of the larynx. His patients have come to UAMS from more than 44 states and at least 33 countries.
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Visionary Leader

Dr. Suen worked with faculty colleagues in the 1970s and 1980s to develop comprehensive  cancer programs and  co-found the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, renamed the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute in 2007.
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Naming Opportunities

In recognition of Dr. Suen’s international reputation and outstanding accomplishments, UAMS has created an opportunity for donors who would like to support the naming of the planned UAMS Center of Excellence in Head and Neck Cancers in honor of Dr. Suen. To name the new center, a financial commitment of $10 million is required.

In concert with Dr. Suen's wishes, UAMS will allocate the $10 million commitment in two ways.  Six million will be devoted to establish and support the Center of Excellence in Head and Neck Cancers in the College of Medicine and the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. The Center will serve as the hub for the head and neck cancer multidisciplinary team, which includes head and neck cancer surgeons, reconstruction surgeons, dermatologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, scientists, nurses and nurse practitioners, pharmacists, patient navigators, dentists, speech therapists and social workers. It would also support research efforts to find cures for head and neck cancers. UAMS seeks to establish the entire Center of Excellence and its team as an internationally recognized program and global medical destination. The $6 million allocation will support endowments, recruiting efforts, research efforts and other measures to build the team and develop the center.

The remaining $4 million will be used to complete unfinished shell space and furnish the multidisciplinary clinics on the seventh floor of the Cancer Institute's new tower, for the benefit of patients with all types of cancer. The head and neck cancer team, along with other disease-oriented multidisciplinary teams, will utilize this new space.

The donors  of this floor will be recognized on a plaque placed on the seventh floor of the Cancer Institute. This floor will be architecturally designed with larger exam rooms and large conference rooms so that teams of doctors and other health care professionals can see and plan the care for a patient together in a multidisciplinary approach. Dr. Suen has always been a proponent of this team approach to treating cancer patients.

We cannot think of a more fitting way to honor Dr. Suen for all that he has done for Arkansas, for UAMS, for the medical profession and his specialty, and for his extraordinary, compassionate care of patients from throughout Arkansas and around the world.

For more information, contact:

Phyllis Lovelace
Associate Director of Division Development
Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute