Office of Institutional Advancement

16th Annual Jefferson Gala


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Reception at 5:30 p.m.
Dinner and Program at 6:30 p.m.

Philadelphia 201 Hotel
201 North 17th Street Philadelphia, 19103

The 16th Annual Jefferson Gala will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 30, 2018, at the Philadelphia 201 Hotel and will honor renowned medical oncologist, researcher, and champion of the underserved, Edith Peterson Mitchell, Brigadier General USAF (Retired), MD, FACP, FCPP, and Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.

Dr. Mitchell will receive the 2018 Achievement Award in Medicine for her outstanding contributions to science and humanity. She is clinical professor of the departments of Medicine and Medical Oncology, program leader for the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College, associate director for diversity programs, and director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities for the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. A former president of the National Medical Association, she has received a number of awards for her research focusing on several cancer types, including breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers, as well as other gastrointestinal malignancies.

In addition to her distinguished career in medicine, Dr. Mitchell is a retired brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force—the first female physician to achieve that rank. She has received more than a dozen military service awards, including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal.

“Dr. Mitchell has been a trailblazer all her life, and continues to be a pioneer in cancer treatment and research, and an advocate for the underserved,” says Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “At the Gala, we’ll celebrate a person who has helped fulfill our mission of improving lives.”

The 2018 Award of Merit will be presented to coach Pederson who helped the Eagles win their first Lombardi Trophy this past season. In only his second year as head coach, he led his team to a 41-33 win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. Pederson was previously offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs, and spent most of his playing career as a member of the Green Bay Packers. He was a reserve quarterback for the Packers during their Super Bowl XXXI win, also over the Patriots; he is just the fourth person to win a Super Bowl as both a player and head coach.

Pederson has earned a reputation for candor and inspirational speaking. Before the Eagles’ against-all-odds championship win, Pederson told his players, “One man can make a difference, but a team can make a miracle.” Pederson explains his leadership style and how it was formed in an upcoming memoir called Fearless.

“Great leaders inspire greatness, and sports have the power to connect people from all walks of life,” Klasko says. “In presenting Pederson with the Award of Merit, we are recognizing the Eagle pride that is the very heart and soul of Philadelphia, and the shared sense of community that is the essence of Jefferson.”

Proceeds from this year’s Jefferson Gala will benefit the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and the Neu Center for Supportive Medicine and Cancer Survivorship. Last year’s Gala raised more than $2 million for Jefferson’s Department of Surgery Research and Education Fund and the Philadelphia Collaborative for Health Equity.