Philanthropists Sue and Ralph Stern honored as 2016 UC Irvine Health Heroes

October 03, 2016
Philanthropists Sue and Ralph Stern are honored as 2016 UC Irvine Health Heroes.
Sue and Ralph Stern's gratitude for the UC Irvine Health physicians who cured her of a rare spinal cord tumor led the Orange County philanthropists to support UC Irvine cancer research and clinical trials that will help many others.

Orange County philanthropists Sue and Ralph Stern have received UC Irvine Health’s highest honor, the UC Irvine Health Hero Award, in recognition of their transformational impact on healthcare in the community.

The Sterns, whose generosity has made a difference for individuals and organizations across Orange County, partnered with UC Irvine Health’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center to establish the Sue and Ralph Stern Center for Cancer Clinical Trials and Research in 2014.

"We are grateful to Sue and Ralph for championing practice-changing research and clinical trials that contribute to extended lung, cervical, and metastatic breast cancer survival rates," said Dr. Howard Federoff, vice chancellor for health affairs and CEO of UC Irvine Health.

"They are valued partners in fight against cancer, helping to make the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center a beacon of hope for trial participants and their families, all of whom remain determined to overcome fate."

"With the recruitment of great talent to the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, like doctors Rick van Etten and Susan O’Brien, our dream is for those with the misfortune of being diagnosed with cancer to be treated by the best doctors in world right here in Orange County," said Ralph Stern. "Thanks to doctors Mark Linskey and Daniela Bota, Sue was successfully treated by the best here at UCI."

Sue Stern, who was diagnosed with a rare spinal cord tumor in 2008, was treated at UC Irvine Health and recovered completely.

The Sterns join an elite group of visionary individuals who have been recognized by UC Irvine Health and the UC Irvine School of Medicine for advancing smarter healthcare locally. Past honorees include Susan Samueli, Michael Hayde, Nancy and Bill Thompson, and Tom and Elizabeth Tierney.

UC Irvine Health honored the Sterns at an event held in October to thank many of the academic medical center’s most loyal donors.