IMPACT Fall 2022

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Building for Life

We are changing the future of cancer care at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center.

FALL 2022 ISSUE 13

Dear Friends,

When the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine broke ground in May, we felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for every person who supported this project through the Building for Life Campaign. Our feelings remain ever present as construction is underway for the state-of-the-art building, which will forever change the face of the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and house the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC).

While the physical changes of the Stoler Center will be apparent, the possibilities within its walls are limitless—especially when it comes to advancing cancer care, research, and discovery. This issue of IMPACT reflects on our rich history of UMGCCC, provides an overview of the new Stoler Center, and features inspiring stories from cancer patients and donors.

Our past brought us to this transformational moment and our future is bright. Please know how much we appreciate your trust, confidence, and support of our work. It is thanks to our partners, like you, that this longtime vision is now a reality.

Kevin J. Cullen, MD

Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Distinguished Professor of Oncology Director, UMGCCC

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Life Campaign Committee

A Living Testament

Johnson always played by the rules, especially when it came to his health. He ate well, exercised five days a week, and got annual checkups—that is until the Covid-19 pandemic limited access to health care across his hometown of Eleuthera, an island in the Bahamas.


In January 2021, when his community began to reopen, Demetrius went to his doctor and mentioned a painless lump on the right side of his neck. A biopsy later revealed it was a malignant tumor.

“I can’t explain how it feels for anybody else; but when I heard the news, I was just like, huh? Are you serious?” explains Demetrius, who was 42 years old at the time of his diagnosis and is a married father of two children.

His sister, Donnica Major, is the senior operations manager in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland Medical Center. She encouraged Demetrius to travel to Baltimore and meet with Rodney Taylor, MD, chief of otorhinolaryngology-head and neck surgery at UMMC. Demetrius did not hesitate to book a flight.

More than a year after his surgery to remove a rare cancer in his neck, Demetrius Johnson reflects on his experience at UMGCCC and his prediction for the future of cancer care at the new Stoler Center.

with his son post treatment.

After a thorough examination and tests, Dr. Taylor and his team confirmed the diagnosis. On March 30, 2021, they performed a challenging 14-hour surgery on Demetrius to remove the rare cancer. Following the surgery, he also completed six weeks of radiation therapy.

“The quality of care that I received from the entire team at the University of Maryland is second to none,” Demetrius says. “I sing their praises every day.”

he could only imagine its impact on future patients and the discoveries that will happen within its walls.

“To the folks who have given and to those who are thinking about giving, I say thank you and I bless you,” Demetrius says. “Thanks to the incredible care I received, I now have the opportunity to be around a little while longer for my children and family. It goes so much deeper than just providing funding. I am a living testament of what philanthropy can do and how it can help.”

When Demetrius heard about the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine, ·

Demetrius Johnson
“The quality of care that I received from the entire team at the University of Maryland is second to none. I sing their praises every day.”
Demetrius Johnson

Transforming Lives Through Philanthropy

Ed and Jennifer St. John’s significant gift will undoubtedly inspire advancements in cancer care, research, and discovery.

Ed and Jennifer St. John share a passion: to transform lives through philanthropy. Their philosophy stems from their respected upbringings, each coming from a family that instilled the importance of giving back to others. It is a lesson that has long been an influence throughout both of their lives.

The couple made a transformational gift to name the Edward and Jennifer St. John Stem Cell Laboratory, a space that supports the innovative cell therapy research of Aaron Rapoport, MD and his team of expert investigators. The St. Johns’ incredible commitment fulfills their philanthropic vision and will undoubtedly inspire advancements in cancer care, research, and discovery.

“We are well into the 21st century and cancer still causes so much suffering and loss,” says Jennifer, an Emmy award-winning television journalist and former news anchor who spent more than 26 years at WBFF Fox 45. “The research that will be done in this laboratory can help mitigate and potentially end that suffering and loss. It’s very meaningful to us.”

Ed, founder and chairman of St. John Properties, has long been a champion of the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and remains a steadfast supporter of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Ed’s friendship with the Greenebaum family inspired his initial involvement with UMGCCC more than two decades ago. Since then, he has known many people who have undergone cancer treatments at UMGCCC. He continually is impressed by the care they receive and inspired by the innovations that occur within the same hospital walls, especially in cell therapy research.

Dr. Rapoport and his team have conducted several clinical trials of adoptive T-cell therapy, a process that genetically engineers a person’s immune cells to attack their cancer cells. It has shown remarkable success in treating patients with multiple myeloma. They have now developed the next generation of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy using a tagged antibody approach—a process invented at the University of


Maryland. It has shown promise in treating blood cancers and other types of cancers as well.

“I am amazed by the potential to not only treat cancer, but to one day cure it,” Ed explains. “This is not just local research; it is worldwide research. You can’t just go to any hospital and get this advanced treatment, but you can get it at the University of Maryland.”

Securing funding for this type of investigative research can be difficult and private philanthropy plays a pivotal role in jumpstarting new innovations.

“These breakthroughs don’t happen without philanthropy, and we feel very strongly that this research needs to be supported,” Jennifer says. “Seeing the work that’s being done and the hope that this research is providing, we hope that others will step up and realize that this can help make a difference in our world.”

In addition to cancer, the Edward and Jennifer St. John Stem Cell Laboratory is being used in other areas of medicine, including investigations into a promising new therapy for AIDS.

“We take great pride in supporting the lifesaving and life-altering work being done by expert researchers and clinicians at UMGCCC, who are working together to prevent, detect, and treat cancer and other diseases,” Ed says. ·


Changing the Future of Cancer Care

The new Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine will make essential enhancements to the experience of all patients, families, care providers, and staff. It will meet the escalating need for cancer care—accelerating what our care teams can accomplish.


diagnosis can happen to anybody.

Access to quality, leading-edge care is essential to everyone for survival.

As part of an academic medical center, the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center is unique in its ability to deliver state-of-the-art clinical care to current patients while improving the health and wellbeing of future patients through discovery and training of next-generation caregivers. Our faculty-physicians are experts in their field, and patients can be confident that they receive the most up-to-date treatment recommendations.

UMGCCC is committed to enhancing care for all cancer patients. To meet the recent increasing demand for cancer care, we launched the Building for Life Campaign to:

• Support the creation of the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine, a cutting-edge facility designed to change the nature of patient care.

• Provide funding to advance clinical care, patient support services, research, training and education.

Thanks to the generous support from over 300 donors—including a significant investment from Roslyn and Leonard Stoler—the Building for Life Campaign has raised an incredible $53.5 million of it’s $55 million philanthropic goal. This combined contribution along with a substantial capital grant from Maryland and UMMC resources enables us to move forward with construction of the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine. This transformational project will improve the lives and health outcomes for more cancer patients—in Maryland and beyond.

The new facility will nearly double the current UMGCCC space and include:

A new Urgent Care Center devoted to cancer patients, so that patients with compromised immune systems can hopefully avoid an emergency room visit and be seen immediately by cancer care specialists.

A new, modern, and inviting entrance for UMMC patients and visitors that includes a lobby to streamline patient check-in, security, and access for the building, and a healing garden for patients and their loved ones.

New technologies in patient spaces, public areas, and staff offices that maximize efficiency and enhance experience and education.

A floor dedicated to inpatient and outpatient transplants and other novel immunotherapies.

All new outpatient clinic and infusion space designed with options that match patient preference for seating, personal interactions, and other therapies.

A research space dedicated for medical research, enabling us to expand our capabilities.

Two new inpatient floors with amenities that include exercise facilities for patients, respite areas for families, and all-private accommodations.

A dedicated pharmacy for prepping and mixing chemotherapy and other medication and treatments.

› › › › › › ›
Join the Building for Life Campaign:


While many people in Maryland and the region associate the Stoler family name with car dealerships, they will soon connect it to something else—the advancement of cancer care, research, and discovery at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Roslyn “Roz” and Leonard “Len” Stoler’s philanthropic support allowed them to name the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine, a cutting-edge facility that will house the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Their generosity turned a longtime vision into a reality and inspired more than 300 other donors to give to this new, state-of-the-art building.

“Our deepest wish is that we can bring some light to people who have less than we have,” Len said. “People with cancer are suffering physically and mentally; and if we can help them in any way, we’re satisfied.”

Constructed onto the front of UMMC at 22 South Greene Street, the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine will have six floors dedicated to cancer care. The expansion will enhance clinical care and research, and position UMGCCC to meet the growing need for complex cancer care.

“Peaceful surroundings, caring staff, and thorough patient education are the elements that make cancer treatment tolerable for patients. These are the elements that shape a patient’s experience. On the back end, medical research into improved and new treatments paves the way for successful patient outcomes in the future, but this aspect is often not visible to each current patient. A facility like the Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine can focus on both the front-end and back-end aspects of treatment, giving each patient the optimal potential for cure and survival! Philanthropy seems crucial for ensuring all these avenues of treatment can be explored.”

Andrea Esler, is a married mother of six children who was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in May 2021. She is a current patient at UMGCCC.

Roslyn and Leonard Stoler
Entrance Patient Room


On May 13, the University of Maryland Medical Center broke ground on the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine, the future home of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. Building for Life Campaign Chairman William “Brit” Kirwan kicked off the celebration, saying he is honored to chair the campaign given the “remarkable and caring, cutting-edge treatment” his wife, Patty, received at UMGCCC. In attendance were several members of the Stoler family; elected officials including Gov. Larry Hogan and Maryland State Senate President William Ferguson; and hospital leadership including Drs. Bert O’Malley, Mohan Suntha, and Kevin Cullen.


Since the groundbreaking, preparation has begun to ready the building site for construction, which includes the relocation of a steam line and the temporary closing of the hospital’s north entrance. Throughout construction, patients and visitors will use the entrance on Lombard and Greene streets to access the hospital. This prep work will continue through the remainder of the year. Major construction is projected to begin in early 2023. Stay connected with UMMC for updates and images as the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine changes the face of the University of Maryland Medical Center:


From the range to the waters to the pavement, donors have hit the links, the sails, and the roads to golf, sail, and run—raising more than $700,000 for the Building for Life Campaign through a series of events in 2021 and 2022. We are immensely grateful to all the sponsors, participants, and donors of the Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center Golf Tournament, Maryland Leukemia Cup, and Maryland Half Marathon & 5K. Planning is underway for the next round of events through the remainder of the year and into 2023, which will be listed on our website here:


The lifesaving care provided by UMGCCC is possible thanks to the more than 500 employees who work tirelessly to treat every patient and visitor as if they are family. Not only does the staff give of their time and talents, many of them—at all levels of staff—generously support the campaign as well. As of this summer, more than $250,000 has been raised in gifts ranging from $30 to over $100,000. All employees who contribute at least $100 to the Building for Life Campaign will be recognized on a donor wall in the Stoler Center.

Outside Garden

Our History

UMGCCC precursor, Baltimore Cancer Research Center (BCRC) is operated as part of a National Cancer Institue (NCI) program

BCRC moves to U MD campus, continues a NCI program

University of Maryland Cancer Center (UMCC) renamed UMGCC to honor philanthropists Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum

Landmark MOPP trial for Hodgkin’s Disease published

U MD Cancer Center established

State of Maryland Cigarette Restitution funding begins and has provided $151,000,000 in research funding to Cancer Center, through 2019

1970 1974-1982 1982 1996 2001
Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum provided the $10M founding gift for the cancer center in 1996 after Mrs. Greenebaum’s successful treatment and recovery from breast cancer.
Davidge Hall, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Unsuccessful application for NCI designation

Angela Brodie wins Kettering Prize honoring her development of aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer treatment

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan treated for lymphoma at UMGCC

State appropriates $125,000,000 to support construction of new tower to house UMGCCC clinical facilities. Construction scheduled 2021

Kevin Cullen, MD becomes UMGCC Director

UMGCC becomes a NCI-designated Cancer Center – renewed 2011

UMGCC renews CCSG, elevated to Comprehensive status. Name changed to UMGCCC

2004 2008 2002 2005 2015 2016 2019
Drs. Angela and Harry Brodie’s invention of a class of drugs called “aromatase inhibitors” changed the way breast cancer is treated around the world. Cancer Center receives NCI comprehensive status.

‘We Live What We Speak’

Barry and Lisa Stoler recognize the importance of giving back and its impact on creating positive change for generations to come

Giving back is deeply rooted in the Stoler family’s way of life—in fact, it may be in their DNA. Since he was young, Barry Stoler watched his parents, Roz and Len, give to organizations and to people in need. Their longstanding

generosity not only supported several incredible projects throughout the region (including the transformative Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine), but it also inspired their family to embrace the same philanthropic spirit.


“My parents have been unbelievable role models my entire life,” says Barry, who works closely with his father as the president of Len Stoler Automotive. “They taught my sister and me about giving back and doing the right thing, and that’s the way I was raised. We live what we speak.”

Barry and his wife, Lisa, have long been philanthropists and advocates of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Barry especially is very active with the cancer center, serving as the chairman of its Board of Advisors—a role that he describes as “an honor.”

He and Lisa made their own substantial gift to the new Stoler Center in recognition of the widespread impact the state-of-the-art facility will have on advancing patient care, research, and discovery—in Maryland and across the world.

“Lisa and I wanted to do what we could for the cancer center because we really believe in it as a great cause,” Barry explains. “Our gift not only provides funding for the bricks and mortar, but it also supports the hospital in its efforts to recruit the best doctors, conduct the best research, and be the best place.”

Their gift also holds a personal significance. In the early 1990s, Barry’s 4-year-old daughter, Lindsay, was diagnosed and successfully treated for cancer at what was then University Hospital, now the University of Maryland Medical Center. Barry says

her care was outstanding and hopes their gift will build on UMGCCC’s already exceptional patient experience.

“To watch a loved one experience cancer is traumatizing. You are paralyzed with fear,” Lisa shares. “To have the resources all in one place in this new building will be amazing for these families. It’s a scary time in your life. Anything that can be done to make the process simpler and easier to navigate is well worth it.”

Barry and Lisa also see their gift as a connection to the patients and families at UMGCCC. While they may never meet the people who will one day benefit from their generosity, they stand with them on their road to recovery.

“Our gift not only provides funding for the bricks and mortar, but it also supports the hospital in its efforts to recruit the best doctors, conduct the best research, and be the best place.”

“We are so grateful to help, whether it’s through a philanthropic commitment or the gift of time—both of which are incredibly important and can create positive change for years to come,” Lisa says. “Just knowing that countless lives will be affected in a positive way by something that our family has contributed toward, nothing can make you prouder or feel more inspired to give back.” ·

Barry and Lisa Stoler congratulate Len at the groundbreaking. Barry, Len, and Dr. Kevin Cullen.

Investing in the Future of Cancer Care


Susan Mertes visualizes the new Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine, she can already see the profound impact the state-of-the-art facility will have on patient care. For years, her husband Fred received treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center.

While his care was excellent, Susan recalls some challenges they faced, especially on days when Fred needed to see more than one doctor. Many times, Fred’s specialists were in different buildings on the University of Maryland Medical Center campus. To someone undergoing cancer treatments, a one block walk can feel like several miles. The Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine will alleviate this obstacle by bringing all cancer center specialties under one roof.

“I have so much excitement for the new building and how it will help people in so many ways,” Susan says. “Families already have enough stress and anxiety. Finding ways to make it easier for patients to navigate their care and alleviate as many obstacles as possible are so important.

The Impact of Giving Back

Susan is all too familiar with the stress of a cancer diagnosis. Her father died of cancer 10 years ago, and two of her brothers-in-law were diagnosed with cancer; one was successfully treated and the other passed away last year. Sadly, Fred also lost his battle. He passed away in 2016, seven years after his CCL diagnosis.

“Fred told me, ‘If I make it through, I want to help people who are also going through this,’” Susan explains. “He didn’t make it, but I’m here.”

After Fred’s passing, Susan honored his legacy by making a generous gift to his care provider, Aaron Rapoport, MD, whose innovative cell therapy research has shown significant promise in treating blood cancers. She also joined the Building for Life Campaign Committee, a group of community leaders devoted to seeing the new building come to fruition. She and her son, Wil, made a generous gift in Fred’s memory to name an infusion bay within the new building. It is a space that is sacred to Susan; a place where she holds many memories with Fred.

I believe this impacts patient compliance and ultimately provides a better outcome.”
After losing her husband to cancer, Susan Mertes makes a difference in the lives of other cancer patients through philanthropy.

“Both Fred and I continued to work as much as possible while he was sick; but on the days when he received his infusion treatments, we would be at the hospital in the infusion center for the entire day. It was time we had together,” she shares. “It was a place for us to talk about our hopes, dreams, and goals for our family.”

The new infusion center will feature private rooms, providing even more privacy and space to patients and their families. It also will feature space for patients to receive their infusion treatments alongside other patients, giving those

who are interested an opportunity to socialize with others in a similar situation.


Susan says.

“I think the biggest benefit to the new building will just be the ease of access to everything,”
“Cancer is not just a physical fight, but it’s a mental and emotional fight. Removing any layers of stress will make a tremendous difference in patient care.”
Susan Mertes with her son, Wil.


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IMPACT is published by the University of Maryland Medical System Foundation. Bert W. O’Malley, MD President and Chief Executive Officer, UMMC Professor of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine Timothy Nurvala Interim Executive Director, UMMS Foundation Copy: Jennifer Lehman Keir Design: Elizabeth Shea Photography: Larry Canner
Guests at the May 13 groundbreaking ceremony for the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine, the future home of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Bert O’Malley, Governor Larry Hogan, Leonard Stoler and William Ferguson. Dr. Bert O’Malley, Governor Larry Hogan, Dr. Kevin Cullen and Dr. Mohan Suntha. Dr. Kevin Cullen and Michael Greenebaum. Alan Butler, Dr. Brit Kirwan and Dr. Mohan Suntha. Karen Doyle and Sharon Akers. All guests during the program.
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