Dr. Ray Page named recipient of 2020 President’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Service
By Jan Jarvis
As a medical oncologist, Dr. Ray Page has treated thousands of cancer patients in North Texas with care and compassion. As a researcher driven to develop new chemotherapy drugs, he has given hope to many others. As an educator, he has taught and mentored innumerable students and professionals at all levels of training and expertise locally and abroad.
In recognition of his work, the 1991 graduate of the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth has been named the 2020 recipient of the President’s Alumni Award for Distinguished Service.
Dr. Page said he is deeply honored and humbled to receive the award. His wife, Dr. Sheila Page, also a Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine graduate, has been his inspiration and equally deserves the recognition, he said.
“Service to our society is rarely accomplished well from just an individual effort,” he said. “Outstanding service comes through teamwork. I certainly share this award with the hundreds of folks from UNTHSC, my cancer center, the medical community, my medical societies, and my church who all work together to make our world a better place.”
The President’s Alumni Award for Distinguished service was created in 2017 to honor an HSC graduate for their outstanding personal and professional achievements in their field.
In the past, the honoree has been recognized at the spring commencement ceremony. But this year, because of COVID-19 safety concerns, the ceremony has been moved to a digital platform. Plans call for Dr. Page to be recognized at the 2021 ceremony.
For 24 years, Dr. Page has been a medical oncologist and hematologist at The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, where he has served as President since 2007. He is also Director of Research and has been the Principle Investigator for more than 250 oncology clinical trials.
It was evident early in his medical education that Dr. Page was destined to become a leader in healthcare, said Lisa Nash, DO, Professor of Family Medicine and Senior Associate Dean at HSC.
“We all knew even back then to expect great things from him,” said Dr. Nash, who attended school with him. “He was a pioneer in the TCOM dual-degree program and was someone we all considered to be “super smart”. He also demonstrated excellent people skills and a healthy dose of practicality, which is a very rare combination.”
Danny Jensen, Vice President for Governmental Affairs, said he always thought of Page as a physician first.
“He was the first graduate in the country to receive a DO/PhD, the first DO Chief Fellow at M.D. Anderson, and he also brought the first pharmaceutical sponsored clinical trials for cancer to Fort Worth,” Jensen said.
After earning his PhD in Pharmacology and his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Page completed his residency in internal medicine at the Osteopathic Medical Center of Texas. He then completed a combined oncology/hematology fellowship at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. While there, he was appointed Junior Faculty Associate and Chief Fellow.
After completing his training, Dr. Page returned to North Texas, where the Grand Prairie native has made many contributions to the community.
He currently serves as an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) representative to the American Medical Association House of Delegates. He is the Immediate Past Chair of ASCO’s Clinical Practice Committee and the Texas representative to the State Affiliate Council.
In 2018, Dr. Page was presented the ASCO “Advocate of the Year” Award. He served over the past several years as an inaugural mentor to a number of ASCO Healthcare Policy Fellows. In 2019, he received the prestigious Fellow of ASCO (FASCO) designation for many years of dedicated volunteer contributions.
Dr. Page is politically active both in Texas and nationally, working on numerous cancer-related legislative issues and writing many policies influencing healthcare. He is the Past President and current Secretary of the Texas Society of Clinical Oncology.
At HSC he continues to be involved in various programs, including serving through adjunct professorships in the Departments of Medicine, Pharmacology, and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. In 2004, he was named as a Distinguished Alumnus of the Graduate School. He has previously been named a Distinguished Alumnus at his alma maters of Southwestern University and Grand Prairie High School.
“He has been a great supporter of medical education and has taught and mentored countless medical students and residents over the years,” Dr. Nash said. “When we developed new residency programs in Weatherford, he was one of our earliest and greatest supporters.”