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Newark Life

Christiana Care doctor receives 2015 Service award

Apr 24, 2015 03:47PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Nicholas J. Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America endowed medical director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute at Christiana Care Health System, received the 2015 Service Award from Delaware Bio Science Association at an awards gala on April 22 at DuPont Country Club in Wilmington. Delaware Bio Science is a trade association focused solely on promoting Delaware’s growing bioscience industry.

The Service Award recognizes individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to improve Delaware’s life-science community.

Over the past 13 years, Dr. Petrelli has been a recognized leader in the state of Delaware in the fight against cancer, and developed the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute into a national model of cancer care, prevention, outreach and research.

Thanks to Dr. Petrelli’s leadership and partnerships with others in the state, Delaware’s cancer mortality rate is now dropping twice as fast as the national rate. The state is outpacing the nation in reducing deaths from a number of cancers such as breast and colorectal. Among his many accomplishments:

• Led the development of 14 multidisciplinary disease site centers and selection as one of the original cancer centers to participate in the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program.

• Achieved one of the highest National Cancer Institute clinical trials participation rates in the country at 24 percent, well above the national rate of 4 percent.

• Developed the first statewide High Risk Family Cancer Registry, consisting of 5,640 families with more than 220,000 individuals and the recruitment of five full-time genetic counselors.

• Established a research partnership with The Wistar Institute of Philadelphia, an international leader in biomedical research, to collaborate on translational cancer research with the aim of bringing the latest discoveries in cancer research to cancer patients in our community.

• Established the Center for Translational Cancer Research, 7,000 sq. ft. of laboratory space where scientists and clinicians work together to find new cancer treatments.

Dr. Petrelli has received numerous awards and has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts. He has served on several advisory panels of the National Cancer Institute, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Society of Surgical Oncology. In 2013 he received the Order of the First State Award by Governor Jack Markell for his dedication to excellence in serving the community and the state of Delaware.

The Delaware Bio Annual Awards Gala is the premiere bioscience event in Delaware and honors men and women who helped build Delaware’s biotechnology industry.

About Christiana Care Health System Christiana Care Health System is one of the country’s largest health care systems, ranking as the 22nd leading hospital in the nation and 12th on the East Coast in terms of admissions. The health system includes The Christiana Care Medical Group, a network of primary care physicians, medical and surgical specialists as well as home health care, preventive medicine, rehabilitation services and patient/family advisors for core health care services. A not-for-profit teaching hospital affiliated with Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Christiana Care is recognized as a regional center for excellence in cardiology, cancer and women's health services. Christiana Care has an extensive range of outpatient services, and through Christiana Care Quality Partners, Christiana Care works closely with its medical staff to achieve better health, better access to care and lower cost. Christiana Care is home to Delaware's only Level I trauma center, the highest capability center and the only one of its kind between Philadelphia and Baltimore. Christiana Care also features a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, the only delivering hospital in Delaware that offers the highest level of non-surgical care to the most critically ill newborns. Christiana Care includes two hospitals with 1,100 patient beds.

For more information about Christiana Care, visit

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