The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has named four-star Admiral Joxel Garcia, M.D., a former U.S. Public Health Service leader, as the inaugural executive director of the cancer prevention and control platform that is included in the Moon Shots Program at MD Anderson. Admiral Garcia began his duties on August 31st.
Giulio Draetta, who is the co-leader of the Moon Shots Program and a professor of Genomic Medicine and Molecular & Cellular Oncology, said in a press release: “Dr. Garcia is an internationally recognized health care leader with proven experience and success in a variety of health care settings. We’re excited to have someone of his caliber on board and know he will contribute a great deal to the platform and the program overall.”
“I’m honored to join the No. 1 cancer center in the nation. It’s truly exciting to join the MD Anderson family and work with world-class leaders, researchers and clinicians,” stated Garcia.
The Moon Shots Program is focused on accelerating the transformation of scientific discoveries into real advances in healthcare and clinical outcomes that will ultimately reduce cancer deaths. This platform also supports dissemination of cancer prevention initiatives and implements evidence-based, community-focused programs for screening in order to detect the disease early and increase survivorship.
Ernest Hawk, vice president and division head of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences who is also a co-leader of the platform, said: “It’s estimated that as much as 50 percent of the cancer burden in the American population is preventable. Cancer prevention and control, practiced at both the individual and population levels, are critical to success in our mission of ending cancer. Dr. Garcia’s deep knowledge and long legacy of leadership in advancing all aspects of cancer prevention and control at the local, state, national and international levels will boost MD Anderson’s commitment to this aspect of our mission in new and transformative ways.”
Garcia sees himself as someone capable of increasing the platform efforts to higher and sustainable levels. The platform is particularly committed to underserved populations at higher risk for cancer. The effort includes topics such as exercise, diet, avoiding tobacco use, sun protection, and prevention of human papillomavirus (HPV).