Any organization is judged by the metrics of what it accomplishes each year. In the non-profit world, things are no different. While we do not measure our successes in stock value, we are responsible for accomplishing our mission goals each year, and serving the public that we are chartered to help. Many people and organizations watch what a non-profit does, from the IRS who grants an entity’s non-profit status, to oversight organizations that rate non-profits, to donors who measure you against other potential worthy organizations for their philanthropy, to the most important group, those that you serve. OCF is very proud of our accomplishments over the years, even in the early years when we were just the seed of an idea, with only one person working towards changing the oral cancer paradigm in the US.
The old adage that if you show me your friends, I will tell you everything about you can be so true, and the foundation has had many important friends over the years that have chosen us to be a component of their effort, events, or their strategic partners. We began to get a sense that we were having some impact when important national publications asked us to comment on the oral cancer issue in their magazines or periodicals, and over the years we have been profiled or asked to contribute articles or provide perspective and opinions in hundreds of these kinds of venues. From dental trade publications to major newsprints such as USA Today, The Wall St. Journal, and the Boston Globe, OCF’s opinions and name were in the media consistently. The very first was Dental Abstracts Magazine, for whom we wrote an editorial on the value of early detection and diagnosis. A showcase article on oral cancer, OCF, and Brian Hill in USA Today, the largest circulation newspaper in the US, shortly followed that. The Boston Globe did an article on “Contagious Cancers” which looked at the HPV issue and showcased OCF and its efforts to raise awareness of this new etiology. There have been hundreds of mentions, references to OCF as the source of information, and stories that painted OCF in a positive light, and they are too numerous to mention individually. Clearly these outside venues were acknowledging the foundation’s credibility and value as a trusted resource. TV shows such as Good Morning America told the oral cancer story, and in that case and many others to follow, the foundation provided all the background disease information as well as contacting patients, survivors, celebrities, and doctors to appear on the shows. More and more the foundation was being selected as a credible source, with trusted information. We are very proud that many fine news, magazines, and public dialog TV media have chosen us to partner with them to ensure the public hears an important story.
A couple of years’s into OCF’s existence, even as a micro entity, the foundation was getting noticed. Brian Hill, OCF’s founder was asked to be the keynote speaker by the World Health Organization (WHO) at their large World Conference on Oral Cancer, held in Crete. Given the size of OCF at the time this was quite an honor, that so large and powerful an organization had taken note of our work.
The foundation produced three public service announcements for TV the next few years with legendary multi Emmy award-winning actor Jack Klugman, and with Tony and Emmy award winning actress Blythe Danner-Paltrow, and Academy Award winning actor Michael Douglas. they each played for runs of more than 120 days on hundreds of TV stations across the country, and each received more than 34 million viewer impressions. That same year the OCF and founder Hill, were honored at the National Press Club with an award from the NIDCR, part of the National Institutes of Health, for excellence in public service, and the foundation’s work with these celebrities to bring much-needed awareness to the oral cancer cause.
The Lance Armstrong Foundation took notice of Brian Hill’s story and work, and OCF was asked to have him be filmed and interviewed for material that would become a permanent part of the LAF website. That same year after being chosen as their spokesperson for this disease, OCF’s founder was asked to be part of LAF’s Grant Review Committee, and his personal cancer story became a part of their book promoted nationally, “Live Strong, Stories of Survival.”
OCF’s founder, Brian Hill was again singled out for a prestigious award for his impact through OCF by New York University, and was given their prestigious Strusser Memorial Award for public service during ceremonies at Madison Square Garden. Many notable people from surgeon generals to celebrities have been the recipients of the Strusser award. In the same year, OCF was recognized with an award from the Chicago Dental Society for its contributions to the battle against oral cancer, the George H. Cushing Award. This award recognizes those who contribute in a significant way to raise national public awareness about the importance of oral health.
Many universities and professional medical and dental societies have asked OCF’s founder to speak at their annual meetings, scientific sessions, and to their students. He has spoken at meetings as diverse as the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Prosthetics, The American Academy of Oral Medicine, NYU, USC, UCLA, Tufts University, UCSF, and numerous others each year as well as being a speaker at continuing education courses on oral cancer for both medical and dental doctors. Speaking engagements and faculty positions on educational courses are a big portion of his requests each year, and in addition to them he has been asked to serve on a great number of oral cancer task forces and workgroups:
- The National Cancer Institute Oversight Committee on Immunotheraputics in Head and Neck Cancer, member
- The National Institute of Dental and Cranio-facial Research Oversight Committee on quality of life outcomes in patients treated with Chemotherapy and Radiation for H&N Cancer, member
- American Academy of Oral Medicine, member
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Oral Cancer Work Group, member
- International Academy of Oral Oncology, member
- Bruce Paltrow Oral Cancer Fund, Administrator
- The Lance Armstrong Foundation (now Livestrong Foundation) Grant Review Committee, past member
- American College of Prosthodontics, Oral Cancer Task Force, member
- International Consortium on Head and Neck Cancer Awareness, founding member
- International Association for Dental Research, member
- American Academy of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral Cancer