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WNC Business

Dr. James Radford Awarded Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Jan 10, 2023 01:10PM ● By WNC Business

HENDERSONVILLE – James Radford, MD, an oncologist and cancer research pioneer who retired in 2021 from Pardee UNC Health Care after more than 20 years, was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine on Monday, Jan. 9 at a private ceremony at the Pardee Cancer Center surrounded by family, close friends and Cancer Center colleagues. This is the highest award for state service granted by the Office of the Governor. It honors those with more than 30 years of service to North Carolina and who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.

Radford began his medical career in academic medicine, serving on the faculty at Wake Forest University and the University of Minnesota. When he decided to pursue another field of medicine, he chose to be closer to family in western North Carolina and moved to Hendersonville. Once in Hendersonville and practicing with Pardee, Dr. Radford developed the Pardee Cancer Research Program and remained the principal investigator for more than 22 years.

The clinical trials program at Pardee, through which patients can access a large number of national and international clinical trials of new cancer therapies, began in 1999 with only Dr. Radford and one research nurse. The program has since grown to four researchers while maintaining 50 to 55 open studies continuously since the program’s inception. Under Dr. Radford’s leadership, Pardee Cancer Research Program has allowed people in Henderson County and the surrounding areas to be enrolled in clinical studies among 20+ community cancer centers all over the country. Through his work for more than two decades, thousands of patients have recovered from cancer and lives have been saved.

 “I am grateful to Dr. Radford for his innovation and leadership over the years,” said Jay Kirby, President and CEO of Pardee UNC Health Care. “His work has truly transformed cancer care for the community and I can think of no other recognition more appropriate for Dr. Radford than The Order of the Longleaf Pine. We are delighted for him and congratulate him on this outstanding honor.”

Pardee UNC Health Care

Pardee UNC Health Care is a not-for-profit community hospital founded in 1953 and is managed by UNC Health Care. The hospital is licensed for 222 acute care beds. Pardee has several locations separate from the main campus, including a comprehensive physician practice network, a cancer center, four urgent care locations and six orthopedic clinics. 

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Source: Pardee UNC Health Care