20 Years of Dr. Weiner’s Leadership at the Iowa Cancer Consortium

This year marks the 20th anniversary of what is now called the Iowa Cancer Consortium. Although the Consortium is made up of many organizations and individuals working together in the cancer control space, one person – Dr. George Weiner – has been at the helm since its inception in 2002.

Dr. Weiner with 2019 Spirit of Collaboration Award winner Paulette Clark (C) and fellow board member Georgia Hodge (L).

With our 20th year comes Dr. Weiner’s decision not to run for Board President again in order to ensure a successful succession plan and the Consortium’s future sustainability. We are so grateful for Dr. Weiner’s service and leadership, beginning before the Consortium officially incorporated in 2008. We look forward to his continuing service in an Immediate Past-President role on the board to ensure a smooth leadership transition to Dr. Mary Charlton, the new President of the Iowa Cancer Consortium as of July 1, 2022.

Gail Orcutt and Dr. Weiner

Dr. Weiner with 2013 Iowa Cancer Champion Award winner Gail Orcutt.

Dr. Weiner’s career spans more than just Iowa’s statewide cancer control work, however. As the director of the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center (HCCC), Dr. Weiner was instrumental in the HCCC’s designation as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2000, and renewing that designation every 5 years since – the only such cancer center in the state. Apart from his leadership roles, seeing patients and teaching as a professor of hematology, oncology, blood and marrow transplantation, pharmaceutical sciences, and experimental therapeutics, Dr. Weiner runs a research lab focusing on novel approaches to cancer immunotherapy. He is also involved at the national level as a past president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes. He currently serves as chair of the External Advisory Boards of 5 other NCI designated cancer centers.

Dr. Weiner at the 2016 Cancer Moonshot kickoff meeting.

To commemorate Dr. Weiner’s service, the Iowa Cancer Consortium Board of Directors is pleased to announce an award named in his honor. The George Weiner Cancer Control Visionary Award will be given annually to an individual who is a visionary in cancer control. Recipients of the George Weiner Cancer Control Visionary Award will be individuals who have kept their sights on their long-term, big-picture goal and worked tirelessly to achieve their desired outcome in cancer control. The inaugural recipient will be presented with the award at the 2022 Iowa Cancer Summit on October 25th. Nominees may or may not be an Iowa resident or a member of the Iowa Cancer Consortium.

Dr. Weiner accepting the C-Change Comprehensive Cancer Control Implementation Award on behalf of the Iowa Cancer Consortium from Former First Lady Barbara Bush and Former President George Bush in 2008.

Historical Timeline of the Iowa Cancer Consortium Under Dr. Weiner’s Leadership

  • 1998 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) forms the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (NCCCP). The NCCCP supports state, tribe, and territorial cancer coalitions which in turn produce comprehensive cancer plans for their communities.
  • 2001 – The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) receives CDC funding to create a comprehensive cancer control plan for Iowa. This involves doing a cancer burden study, the results of which Dr. Weiner helped present to the Iowa House and Senate Appropriations Committees, paving the way for state funding of Iowa’s cancer coalition.
  • 2002 – The Iowa Consortium for Comprehensive Cancer Control is formed, later shortened to the Iowa Cancer Consortium, and led by Dr. Weiner.
  • 2003 – The first Iowa Cancer Plan is published.
  • 2007 – The first annual Iowa Cancer Summit is held.
  • 2008 – With Dr. Weiner’s leadership, the Iowa Cancer Consortium is officially incorporated as a non-profit. Dr. Weiner is voted President of the Board of Directors. Since then, the Iowa Cancer Plan has been revised every five years and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been awarded through Iowa Cancer Plan Implementation Grants.
  • 2021 – The Iowa Cancer Consortium reaches the milestone of 500 members, including over 50 organizational members.
  • 2022 – Dr. Weiner announces his plan not to run again for Board President, taking an Immediate Past-President role on the Board of Directors.

A biking enthusiast, Dr. Weiner participates in RAGBRAI almost every year, and the Iowa Cancer Consortium provides free gallons of sunscreen at stops along the route.