Next week, the WHI says good-by to another charter member of the Clinical Coordinating Center (CCC). Dessie Levias is retiring on April 1 after being at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for over 35 years. She first joined Fred Hutchinson in 1976 as part of Cancer Surveillance System (CSS), left the Center for three years, and returned to the Women's Health Trial Feasibility Study in Minority Populations (WHT). She joined the WHI CCC in 1993 and became the manager first of the Clinical Unit and subsequently the Outcomes Unit.
In her work at the CCC, Dessie was responsible for training, supporting, and performance monitoring of 50 clinical sites around the US and for managing the collection and adjudication of tens of thousands of medical records received on the study’s aging population. She was also responsible for overseeing cancer coding for over 20,000 cancer cases.
Through all the changes and intense work periods in WHI, Dessie remained calm, well-organized, and helpful. She was meticulous about the work she and her staff performed, and exemplified the professionalism and quality for which WHI and the CCC is known. She was a recent recipient of the Hutchinson Center’s Margaret T. Farwell Outstanding Staff Career Contributions Award 2012. As noted by those who nominated her, WHI and other research projects to which Dessie contributed have benefitted from her dedication, good judgment, and willingness to adapt.
Her dedication and positive approach to her job and staff at both the CCC and the clinical centers will be greatly missed. She is looking forward to spending more time with her family and many friends. Please join the CCC in wishing her the best.