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Published on June 17, 2013

Iris V. Henderson Cancer Center at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital Re-Dedicated

Mercy Cancer Care program receives donation from National Coalition of 100 Black Women

West Philadelphia, PA (June 17, 2013): Executives from Mercy Philadelphia Hospital welcomed more than 50 members of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. (NCBW) last Wednesday evening during the bi-annual Rededication Ceremony of the Iris V. Henderson Cancer Center.

The ceremony included remarks from Mercy Hematologist/Oncologist Dr. Rene Rubin, who discussed cancer prevention and triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive type of cancer for which African American women are at higher risk.

The NCBW also presented Mercy Philadelphia Executive Director Susan Cusack and Mercy Philadelphia Hospital and Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital Senior Director of Operations Steven King, Sr. a donation in the amount of $2,000 to benefit oncology services.

“We are honored to receive this generous support from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women,” says Cusack. “It is especially meaningful to receive it in Ms. Iris Henderson’s name, who was a part of the Mercy family for so many years and shared in our mission to serve the entire community. The funds will help us care for our patients in their fight against breast cancer.”

Henderson was an advocate for healthcare in West Philadelphia, with access to quality healthcare her number one priority. A member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, she was also a community leader and devotee, and was described as an extraordinary woman who could make things happen.

“Ms. Henderson was a fixture in the hospital and did everything in her power to improve the lives in this community,” recalls King. “When she was diagnosed with cancer and found out that the type of treatment she needed wasn’t available at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, she fought hard to get the funding to bring it here so that others could have better access.”

Henderson’s battle with cancer ended in 1990, just months short of the announcement that Mercy Philadelphia would receive a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that would bring her vision for a cancer center to fruition.

Two years later, ground officially broke for the Cancer Center that bears her name. It now serves approximately 2,000 patients each year in the radiation oncology and infusion suites. The Mercy Cancer Care program at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital also includes diagnostics and imaging, medical oncology, surgical services, nurse navigation, community education, screenings, and support groups.

To learn more about the Iris V. Henderson Center and Mercy Cancer Care at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital, visit


Iris Henderson Cancer Center Mercy Philadelphia HospitalPhoto Caption:  Mercy Philadelphia Hospital Executive Director Sue Cusack (second from right) holds a proclamation from the Philadelphia City Council regarding the rededication of the Iris V. Henderson Cancer Center. With her are National Coalition of 100 Black Women members, from L-R, Cheryl Gaston, Teresa Lamore, Robyn Younger and Latifah Fields.

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Mercy Health System
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Conshohocken, PA 19428

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