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The Clarence Dennis Papers

Visit with Representative Lyndon Carlson at his office in the State Office Bldg pdf (297,583 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Visit with Representative Lyndon Carlson at his office in the State Office Bldg
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
5 (297,583 Bytes)
1994-03-12 (March 12, 1994)
Dennis, Clarence
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Exhibit Category:
SUNY Stony Brook and Retirement, 1975-1996
Box Number: 11
Folder Number: 28
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Physical Condition:
Series: Cancer Detection Center (CDC), University of Minnesota, 1983-2000
SubSeries: Administrative Files, 1987-2000
Folder: Diary - CDC, 1990-1994
Visit with Representative Lyndon Carlson at his office in the State Office Bldg. Mar. 12, 1994. Visitors, Bill Sullivan, Stan Williams, Ernest Lindstrom, and Dennis.
We arrived a few minutes before the scheduled time of 10:15 AM., and this allowed time to meet Dori in person. She is young, handsome, and very pleasant.
Representative Carlson asked how Bill fits into the picture, and Bill explained he was a fund raiser for the Dept. of Surg. and that his father was the first paid Director of the Cancer Detection Center.
I gave him the thumbnail synopsis of 8 points to read. He asked how much help we needed, and I told him $250,000 for each year for two years should suffice. I added that this about exactly matches the subsidy for 1993, but did not mention that the university offices would skin some 11% off the top.
He asked whether this request had been cleared with proper University authorities. I responded that it had been discussed orally and in black and white with the Dean, who approved and encouraged me and with Assoc. V.P. for Health Science, Cherie Perlmutter, who wanted to be sure we made it clear we would not be confused with the Comprehensive Cancer Program, but who did not offer any other caution.
He told us that 1994 is not an appropriation session of the Legislature, so this would have to be special. I explained that we were not informed of the cut off of subsidy until early in November and that we are not in a position to stay alive a year or more without help. I added that I had sought help from President Hasselmoe, from AARP and inquired at both the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, and that none of those could have a turn-around time of less than a year.
I also referred to the advice of Mrs. Perlmutter in regard to the Comprehensive Cancer Program, explaining that that Program is erecting a new building with funds raised by public fund drives and that that building is designed for animal experimentation and will contain no space as planned for dealing with human patients, while the Cancer Detection Center has been and still is entirely patient or client service oriented, even though it has published some clinical research papers of cardinal importance.
Mr. Lindstrom then outlined his outlook as a 20-year veteran as a client of CDC. He stressed the pioneering preventive medical aspect of the CDC as opposed to today's attitude being expressed at the University, i.e., concentration on treatment after onset of disease rather than on prophylaxis. He stressed that more than half of CDC clients come from out in the state and also that, especially for people from rural areas, time is of the essence so that it is particularly important to get the examinations over with in a half-day so they can get back the same day to their farm work or other small business. He went on to mention the seasoned character of the examiners in CDC and the fact that they work for a pittance and that I had relinquished my salary from the Department of Surgery in the conviction that prevention or early detection of cancer is important enough to divert my salary to keeping the CDC in operation as long as possible.
Stan entered into the conversation with several excellent points, among them the current emphasis among thinkers in the field of public health. He went on to state that conventional medicine is disease oriented and the new thinking is health oriented, keeping folks well rather than waiting until their illnesses have advanced and become less frequently curable, and finally that this dichotomy is precisely the reason why the CDC is in financial difficulty.
Stan made a special point of plans to start an executive type of program set up to screen far more broadly than primarily for detection of early cancers. He expanded on his long-held belief that the CDC might well be expanded to become specifically a Women's Executive Health Program, the need for which has apparently not been appreciated anywhere. This suggestion clearly was enthusiastically received by Mr. Carson, and this and Mr. Lindstrom's contribution earlier appeared to win his whole-hearted approval.
At this point I explained just who Stan is, i.e., a man who has been awarded degrees, namely B.A. and Master of Hospital Administration, and who presently has taken and passed his preliminary oral examination for Ph.D. in Health Systems Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
Finally there was some generous discussion about me, which I turned to emphasize that our examiners were men at the acme of their careers who work in the CDC for a pittance because they are tired of trying to cure patients after the horse is out of the barn and seek concentration on keeping them healthy, men such as Konald Prem, formerly Chairman of Gynecology here, his associate Russell Frys, Neal Gault, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, past Dean of the Medical School, who now works four days a week in the Vice President's Office and one day a week examining for the Cancer Detection center, and additional men of sound clinical experience who have matured in private practice, all men deliberately recruited to develop true excellence a wide variety of medical specialties in the work of the CDC. This stands in contrast to many so-called cancer detection clinics which are manned by nurse examiners or by examiners of a single specialty in the medical field, who run the risk of missing cancers outside their own respective specialties and thus of imparting a false sense of security in their clients.
At the end of the conference, it appeared that Rep. Carlson had been impressed by our joint presentation. He suggested that there are two persons we should try to see next week:
Senator LeRoy Stumpf DFL, Thief River Falls. G-24 Capitol, phone 296-8660. He is on the Rules and Administration Committee; he co-chairs the Education Cmtee; and he chairs the Higher Education Division thereof.
Rep. Peter Rodosovich DFL of Fariibbault 445 State Office Bldg., phone 296-8237. He is on the Ways and Means Committee.
Mr. Lindstrom, Stan, and CD stopped at the office of Sen. Stumpf. He was in a committee meeting and was expected by Mary Jean, his sec., to be so occupied until a luncheon meeting at noon. She acknowledged pleasantly that Sen. Stumpf has received many letters from constituents about the Cancer Detection Center. It was a pleasure to meet her in person.
We had planned to be introduced to Sen. Wiener of Eagen, but she was in committee also. I promised to call next week.
We had also planned to see Rep. Edwina Garcia DFL of Richfield but she was not free until after 3 PM. Russ Rooney of Nichols Institute is a constituent and has spoken to her about the CDC.
Clarence Dennis, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Cancer Detection Center
Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery
State University of New York at New York City
President, New York Surgical Society
President, New York Cancer Society
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