Meet Our 2020 Honorees
Diana K. Feldman
Philanthropist, Caregiver, &
Long-Time American Cancer Society Volunteer
Diana Feldman began volunteering with the American Cancer Society in 1976, when her mother’s close friend, Mrs. Henri Bendel, invited her to attend a meeting of the Society’s Women’s Committee. She had just lost her mother to cancer. “I wanted to help. I was so devoted to my mother, and I wanted to do something for her.”
Diana has served in numerous leadership roles since joining the organization. These include: member of the NYC Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, member and Vice Chair of the Crusades Planning Committee, and Chair of the Special Events Committee. Today, she continues to hold this responsibility with the same verve and enthusiasm as the day she came to the Society.
As the driving force behind a long string of a successful series of annual fundraising events in Manhattan, such as the Fall Theatre Benefit, the Mothers of the Year Award Luncheon and Spring Gala, Diana has led the Special Events Committee with unwavering devotion. In over 25 years under her leadership, the Mothers of the Year Award Luncheon Committee has raised more than $5 million to fund research grants and support patient services.
Diana’s steadfast dedication and commitment to the American Cancer Society is reflected in the many honors she has earned. In 1990, she received the Sword of Hope Crusade Award and Meritorious Service Award, and in 1994 was bestowed the prestigious St. George Medal, the Society’s highest honor. In 2008, Diana received the Society’s Humanitarian Award at the Celebration of Life Gala.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Diana studied at Friends School, Bennett Jr. College, Le Fleuron in Florence, Italy and at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. Diana finds strength, support and inspiration in her late husband Richard M. Feldman, children Jamie and Anthony, and grandchildren Aiden, Raphael, Hayden, and Jonathan.
Diana’s sight is focused on the future. The loss of beloved family- including her two wonderful sisters and niece- and friends to cancer has further ignited her desire and made her more resolute to do whatever it takes to conquer cancer.
Dr. Alison Estabrook
Breast Surgeon at Breastlink, New York &
Professor of Surgery at Icahn School
of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Alison Estabrook, MD, was formerly Chief of the Comprehensive Breast Center, Mount Sinai West in New York City. She is currently Professor of Surgery at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She attended Barnard College, where she graduated cum laude in Biology. She obtained her Medical Degree at New York University, and then did her residency in surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.
After her Residency, Dr. Estabrook stayed on at Columbia and became the chief of the Breast Cancer Surgery Service there in 1991. She became the Division Chief for Breast Surgery at Roosevelt (now Mount Sinai West) in 1998. Her accomplishments include building a comprehensive breast service in which genetics, psychiatry, and complementary medicine are fully represented. She was also the co-founder of the Women at Risk program which offers medical care to women who are at the highest risk for the development of breast cancer because of family history, lobular carcinoma in situ, or gross cystic disease. Dr. Estabrook was the Co-Principle Investigator on 2 NIH Grants, and is now the Co-PI on 1 NIH Grant. Dr. Estabrook began a Breast Fellowship Program in 2002. Since that time, 27 Breast Fellows have graduated the Mount Sinai West/Mount Sinai Beth Israel program.
Dr. Estabrook is a member of many local and national breast groups, including the New York Metropolitan Breast Cancer Group, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the Society of Surgical Oncology. She served on the Commission on Cancer for 10 years (1996-2006). She was also the Chairman of the Science Advisory Council at Barnard College from 2002 to 2006, and was on the Barnard Board of Trustees until 2014. Dr. Estabrook is the author of over 50 scientific articles and book chapters, and she has been invited to lecture nationally and internationally. She has been in New York Magazine's "The Doctors in New York" every year from 1991 to 2016. She is also listed in Castle Connelly's Top Doctors for Cancer. She has appeared on local and national television news discussing issues from breast cancer genetics to breast cancer surgical options.
Dr. Estabrook's research interests include serum markers for breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ, sentinel node biopsy, and the genetics of breast cancer. Her clinical interests include personalized treatment of women with breast cancer, meaning working with a team of radiologists, pathologists, genetic counselors, plastic surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. She is also interested in nipple sparing mastectomy techniques and works closely with the team;s plastic surgeons. She is the creator of an extensive supportive care program at New York's JCC which includes massage, yoga, pool, and nutrition programs for breast cancer survivors.
Dr. Valerie Rusch
Vice Chair of Clinical Research,
Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering
Valerie W. Rusch, M.D. is Vice Chair of Clinical Research for the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where she also holds the Miner Family Chair in Intrathoracic Cancers. She served as Chief of the Thoracic Service from 2000-2013.
After completing residencies in general and cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Washington, she was a Faculty Associate at the MD Anderson Cancer Center from 1982-83, and was a faculty member at the University of Washington before moving to MSK in 1989.
Dr. Rusch’s career has been devoted to thoracic surgical oncology and clinical and translational research. She has been PI for trials performed by NCI-sponsored Cooperative Groups, including LCSG, SWOG, RTOG, and ACOSOG, where she also held co- and vice-chair positions.
Dr. Rusch has chaired the NCI Cancer Clinical Investigations Review Committee, was a member of the NCI Lung Cancer Concept Evaluation Panel, and currently serves as Co-Chair of the NCI Thoracic Staging Malignancies Committee. Dr. Rusch is currently President of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), where she served on the Board of Regents from 2008 to 2017, and was its Chair in 2015-2016.
She also currently serves on its Committee on Global Engagement. Dr. Rusch is active with the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS), the Society for Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS).
Dr. Rusch is Chair of the Mesothelioma Domain of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) International Staging and Prognostic Factors Committee (ISC), and is Chair-elect of the Committee.
Dr. Rusch also served as Chair of the Thoracic Committee for the American Joint Commission on Cancer 6th and 7th editions of the Cancer Staging Handbook, and as Chair of the Thoracic Expert Panel for the 8th edition.
In 2018, Dr. Rusch was awarded with the Robert J. Ginsberg Award, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, during the 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer. Dr Rusch also the recipient of the American College of Surgeons’ Distinguished Service Award, awarded during the 2018 Clinical Congress and the Earl Bakken Scientific Achievement Award by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, awarded during the 55th Annual meeting.