MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases, and ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, today announced new leaders of the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors.
"We are so grateful for the long-time leadership of Paul and Martha and for their service to our mission of finding cures for children suffering from cancer and other life-threatening diseases," said Marlo Thomas, daughter of the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who founded ALSAC and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "As Chairs of our Boards, they will play a critical role in supporting my father's dream that we will reach a day when no child will die in the dawn of life."
Martha Perine Beard, the retired regional executive of the Memphis Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and Paul J. Ayoub, partner and executive committee member of Boston-based law firm Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, have been elected to serve as chairs of the St. Jude and ALSAC Boards respectively, effective July 1, 2015. Mrs. Beard and Mr. Ayoub previously served as first vice chair of the St. Jude and ALSAC Boards. The members of the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors are volunteers who serve without compensation and provide governance and strategic oversight for both ALSAC and St. Jude.
Mrs. Beard has been a member of the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors since 2002.
As chair of the St. Jude Board of Governors, Mrs. Beard will oversee governance of St. Jude, which is embarking on a new era of clinical, research and infrastructure expansion. In the years ahead, St. Jude will expand the number of cancer patients treated on its campus; grow its International Outreach Program to strengthen outreach to children worldwide; maintain its global leadership in pediatric brain tumor and leukemia research while expanding its treatment and research of pediatric solid tumors; incorporate Pediatric Cancer Genome Project next-generation sequencing into the clinical work-up of every child with cancer treated at St. Jude; and increase the number of patients enrolled in the St. Jude LIFE program, an unprecedented research study that brings long-term childhood cancer survivors back to St. Jude for regular health screenings throughout their adult lives.
"The ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors are highly engaged and faithful stewards of this institution," said James R. Downing, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "We are fortunate to have Martha and Paul at the helm to help guide our path as we work to advance research and treatment for children with cancer and other deadly diseases."
Mr. Ayoub has been a member of the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors since 1992.
Founded five years before St. Jude Children's Research Hospital opened its doors in 1962, ALSAC is the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude. As chair of the ALSAC Board of Directors, Mr. Ayoub will provide oversight to an organization responsible for raising 75 percent of the funds necessary to operate St. Jude from generous supporters around the world. These funds allow St. Jude to embark upon innovative research and invent pioneering treatments for some of the most aggressive childhood cancers, and ensure that no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. ALSAC also stewards and promotes the St. Jude brand among its supporters, helping St. Jude earn recognition as the Health Non-Profit Brand of the Year from the Harris Poll EquiTrend® Equity Score for two consecutive years.
"Paul's deep connection to our mission and incredible knowledge about our work makes him uniquely suited to this leadership role on the ALSAC Board of Directors," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of ALSAC. "I join everyone at ALSAC in congratulating Paul and Martha and look forward to working with both esteemed leaders to ensure we continue raising the funds and awareness that will enable St. Jude to save the lives of children around the world fighting cancer and other life-threatening diseases."
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. St. Jude has the world's best survival rates for some of the most aggressive childhood cancers, and treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since we opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs we make, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org or following St. Jude on facebook.com/stjude and twitter.com/stjude.
SOURCE St. Jude Children's Research Hospital