10th Annual, 2013 Honoree, Frank L. Meyskens, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.P.
Dr. Meyskens was born the son of a plumber, attended George Washington High School in San Francisco and matriculated at the University of San Francisco in pre-med (B.S., Biology). He received his M.D. degree from the University of California, San Francisco in 1972 and underwent Internal Medicine training at that institution from 1972 to 1974. He did his Medical Oncology training 1974 to 1977 at NIH.. During that time he also conducted molecular biology investigations in the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology.. From 1977 to 1989 he developed his career at the Arizona Cancer Center at the University of Arizona and was its Associate Director of Cancer Prevention and Control from 1984 to his departure in 1989. During his stay at Arizona he established a large clinical and research program in melanoma and started ASAP(Arizona Sun Awareness Program) and became internationally recognized for his contributions.
He has been funded by NIH/NCI for his research work for over 35 years and has conducted active clinical and laboratory research into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of transformation of human melanocyte and melanoma cells. In the past 15 years he has organized a large group of investigators interested in melanoma around a new prevention and treatment paradigm involving redox metabolism. This work has been widely cited and Dr. Meyskens is recognized as one of the premier clinical and experimental oncologists concerned with melanoma. He was President of the Pan American Pigment Cell Society (2007-2010).
In 1990 Dr. Meyskens received the Grace A. Goldsmith Award from the American College of Nutrition as well as the extremely prestigious Year 2000 Award from the National Cancer Institute, a recognition which had only been given 8 times by that date. In 1996 he was elected a Fellow of the Western Association of Physicians. In 2006 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Society of Preventive Oncology and in 2008 the AACR-Prevent Cancer Prevention Foundation Award. He was elected to the Royal Society of Medicine(Overseas Fellow) in 2009.
Dr. Meyskens is married to the former Linda Davidson. He enjoys swimming and traveling to new cultures.He has three adult children, each leading professional careers, all happily married,and with childrenof their own. In contrast to their father they all speak multiple languages.In the past ten years Dr Meyskens has rediscovered his love of reading and writing poetry and has found his personal genre of “what really happens between people (frequently patients and their doctors)” and discovered the different type of rigor that writing lasting poetry requires. He published his first book of poetry (Fithian Press) in November 2007, “Aching for Tomorrow” and will submit his second book in a few months. All royalties go to a fund to underwrite the non-medical expenses of patients in the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
9th Annual, 2012 Honoree, James G. Jakowatz, MD
Jim Jakowatz received his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Kansas, remaining a devoted Jayhawk. While a resident in surgery, he married his wife Margie, who was a surgical nurse at Rush. He completed his residency in General surgery at Rush- Presbyterian-St. Likes Medical Center/Rush Medical School in Chicago. During his residency he became very interested in cancer surgery and went on to complete his Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the City of Hope National Medical Center. Upon completing his cancer surgery fellowship, Jim wanted to stay in academic medicine because of his desire to teach and perform basic and clinical research in cancer. He took the position of attending surgeon in Surgical Oncology at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center and at the VA Medical Center in Long Beach in 1985. In 1986, because the University had no formal program in the treatment of melanoma, Jim started the UCI Melanoma Center. At that time he was the obvious choice because of his youth, energy, training in radical cancer surgery and the use of a melanoma vaccine at City of Hope.
Over the past 26 years, Jim has treated thousands of melanoma patients. He has researched the use of 3 experimental vaccines, the use of interferon, interleukin, and was the first surgeon in Orange County to start a program of sentinel lymph node mapping and biopsy . Under his Directorship, the Melanoma Center at UCI now sees over 300 new melanoma patients per year. The faculty has grown to 2 surgical oncologists, 2 dermatologists, 2 medical oncologists and a dedicated dermatopathologist. Aligned with the center are radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons, and plastic surgeons. All residents in surgery, dermatology, and medical oncology rotate through the center to learn the treatments of all stages of melanoma. Currently Jim is working on spectral imaging of moles and melanoma in the hopes of developing a form of optical biopsy that will avoid numerous surgical incisions.
Jim and Margie have two children, Jenna who is a junior at the University of Kansas, studying Journalism, and Alex, who will graduate from Northwood High school, moving on to college at Gonzaga University. Margie has been the backbone of his life and surgical career.
Jim is awestruck and honored to be this year's honoree of the 2012 Hack n' Smack Golf Tournament. He does want everyone to know up front that he is an excellent surgeon, but a lousy golfer.
8th Annual, 2011 Honoree, Janellen Smith
Janellen Smith received her medical training at the University of Iowa, and completed her Dermatology residency in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan. From these early days, she set her sights on a career understanding and treating patients with melanoma.
While the majority of graduates move directly to private practice, Dr Smith chose the laboratory, and in 1986 arrived at Washington University in St Louis to begin an NIH fellowship in molecular biology. After two years of laboratory research, she discovered the more clinical world of academic medicine at the University of Minnesota where she moved with her husband, Dr Christopher Zachary. Together they built the first interdisciplinary melanoma program at the U of MN and reviewed difficult melanoma cases each week with a board of specialists from Oncology, Surgery and Pathology. This approach to the diagnosis, investigation and treatment of melanoma is now widespread within the United States. She was also Chief of Dermatology at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center where many of our war veterans were struggling with melanoma as well. The size of this program was such that Dr Smith gained valuable expertise, not only in melanoma but also in many other advanced skin cancers.
In 1997 Drs Smith and Zachary moved to the University of California, San Francisco where Janellen spent 9 years with one of the premier interdisciplinary melanoma boards in the US. Offering full service investigation and treatment clinics, they were also able to provide access to national investigational and therapeutic studies.
It was at UCSF that she met and collaborated with Dr Ruby Ghadially, an expert on human stem cells. Ruby had developed a method for separating out melanoma stem cells from fresh tissue gathered from patients. Janellen's clinical and fund raising skills allowed them to use this technique to provide numerous clues as to the aggressive nature of metastatic tumors. Together they have published and presented in major journals and scientific meetings.
In 2006 the Smith Zachary family moved to beautiful Southern California and the University of California, Irvine. Here, Janellen runs a number of skin cancer clinics and continues her association with the VA Medical System teaching residents and caring for patients at the Long Beach VA Medical Center. As a caring, thoughtful, supportive and inspired clinician, it is no surprise that she has gained a tremendous following in this region. She also works as a volunteer for Remote Area Medical, a team of health care providers that gives medical care to the underserved.
She is proud but humbled to be this year's honoree at the 2011 Hack n' Smack Golf Tournament.
7th Annual, 2010 Honoree, Aaron Postil
From the inception of the Hack n' Smack Celebrity Golf event there was Aaron Postil. It goes without question, the Hack n' Smack event would not likely have gone beyond year one, had it not been for the influence and efforts of Mr. Aaron Postil and his family. We stand most grateful.
Aaron Postil established End It Entertainment in early 2007 as a natural outgrowth of his years in the music and entertainment business, primarily in management. As President and Founder of the full-service production company, Postil is looking to incubate a wide range of multi-media projects and bring time-intensive artist development back into fashion.
Postil has also been on the Committee of the Hack n' Smack annual golf tournament for 7 years now which all benefits goes to the Melanoma Foundation. "Melanoma is the most over looked cancer in the world and if I can use my influences and contacts to bring awareness then I feel like have given back." Postil has got stars like Justin Timberlake, Joe Pesci, Alfonso Ribiero, Grant Show and Harold Green involved in the charity.
An L.A. native who grew up in a musical household, Postil hadn't originally planned to go into the "family business." An avid, lifelong golfer who had a four handicap at age twelve and was even par at sixteen, Postil intended to go pro. He's been fortunate enough to travel extensively and play at the world's best courses, but ultimately opted against it as a career. "I'm among the top 1% in the world," he says, "and the PGA tour pros, they're in the top .01%. I knew I wasn't ever going to be as good as Tiger Woods, and I decided to just enjoy the sport rather than become competitive."
Postil's main clients at End It include longtime friend Qura Rankin, an acclaimed composer and producer who's recently worked with Beyonce and Christina Aguilera. Award-winning producer Damizza (Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mariah Carey) is another collaborator, and Postil also helps oversee Damizza's independent label, BabyRee Recordings. In 2007, BabyRee released What A Life, the debut album by the all-star blues-rock group L.A. Blues Alliance. The project, which features ace musicians including Keb' Mo' and Sonny Landreth, was produced by Postil's father, famed television composer Mike Post (who, in addition to a spate of awards including Emmys and GRAMMYs, has a song by The Who named after him).
In 2003 Postil was with the Gorfaine-Schwarz Agency, a firm specializing in managing top producers and composers (with clients including Glen Ballard, Phil Ramone and Dave Stewart). It was there that Postil formed his associations with Qura and Damizza.
Along with the great producers Postil works with he has cultivated some great artists as well. Bishop Lamont has gained a solid underground fan base over the last 4 years working with (Dr. Dre, 50 cent, Eminem). Bishop is set to release his first record and star in a movie with Tom Sizemore in 2010. Butch Cassidy has been in the game since 1998. Breaking through with Snoop Dogg, Westside Connection. Butch also has worked with Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Nate Dogg. In addition Butch will release his first record sometime in 2010.
Postil's official entrée into the music business came in 1994 — the year he was in professional golf school — when a buddy's band, Hog, got a deal at Geffen Records. "We played drums together, and promised each other that if one of us got signed, we'd drum tech for the other." The band got dropped after one album, but Postil went on to work with hard rockers Danzig and ska-punk outfit Goldfinger, which was his first gig as a stage manager.
A stint with Eddie Van Halen followed — "I learned how to guitar tech," remembers Postil — as well as a tenure with Freeze Artist Management (Candlebox, Danzig, Vanilla Ice, etc). From there, Postil was hired by Doug Goldstein at Big FD Entertainment, where clients included Guns N' Roses and Xzibit, and he later went on to work with P/C Alliance during the time they discovered pop duo Aly & AJ.
With End It, Postil brings his wealth of hands-on experience and love of the game to projects for which he has personal passion. "There's so much talent out there," says Postil, "and I think we have a knack for finding it."
6th Annual, 2009 Honoree, Mr. Christopher Gorham
You'll likely know Chris from his two years on ABC's Ugly Betty, as America Ferrera's love interest Henry Grubstick. Gorham, who now stars on CBS's Harper's Island, isn't your regular Hollywood guy. He is probably one of the most gentle, genuine and giving people you'll ever encounter in entertainment. He is a UCLA graduate, a husband and dedicated father.
Chris has also been an important friend and supporter of the Hack n' Smack and the Melanoma Research Foundation. In 2004, when the Hack n' Smack commenced, we did not have any foundation or major people associated with the event and fundraising is quite difficult in such a competitive market. What we had, going all the way back to that time, was Christopher Gorham. At the time Chris was starring on Medical Investigation, then later on Out of Practice as well and he was our lone active Series Regular playing.
When Chris arrived at the 3rd Annual Hack n' Smack (2006) he had just begun his stint on Ugly Betty and it proved to be a banner year when he made a Hole-in-One on #16 in that year's tournament. Chris has been willing to take interviews, reach out to fellow Celebs, and make sure that our event is in ink every year. Certainly it is commendable with any disease hits one's family or dear friends and you carry a torch on their behalf. But in some ways, it is even more amazing when you choose to carry a torch without a direct association. We certainly hope that Melanoma never finds Chris, his family, or yours but if it ever does Christopher Gorham has unconditionally put in a great amount of love and time...to see that the Melanoma Research Foundation has funding for its future.
5th Annual, 2008 Honoree, Dr. Francesco Federico
Dr. Francesco Federico was Kerry Daveline's oncologist, and is attributed by Kerry's family to helping Kerry live years beyond his initial prognosis.
Dr. Federico founded Lakeside Medical Group (The IPA) in 1986 and continues to serve as its President and Medical Director: He is also co-founder of Lakeside Medical Associates (The fully integrated group) in 1993 and serves as its Vice President. In 1991 he co-founded the predecessor of Lakeside Healthcare, Lakeside Health Services (The MSO) and continues to serve as its President and Chief Executive Officer.
Currently, the combined Lakeside organization cares for and manages over 100,000 lives in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valley areas with a panel of 250 primary care physicians and over 1000 specialists and ancillary providers.
We thank Dr. Federico for his support of the Hack n' Smack and congratulate him on being our 2008 honoree.
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