The Wistar Institute Earns CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ Accreditation

The Wistar Institute Earns CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ Accreditation

September 18, 2008

(PHILADELPHIA – September 19, 2008) – The Wistar Institute, an international leader in biomedical research with expertise in cancer research and vaccine development, today was accredited with the CEO Cancer Gold Standard™  from the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, in recognition of its efforts to improve the health of employees and their families and reduce their risks of cancer.

“As an NCI-designated cancer center, The Wistar Institute is proud to be part of the national effort on cancer,” said Wistar President and CEO Russel E. Kaufman, M.D. “I call on our nation's executive leaders to join me in adopting these important standards to help employees reduce their risk of cancer. Committing to achieve the CEO Cancer Gold Standard may positively affect our bottom line, but it's the potential savings in human lives that is the true benefit."

To earn a Gold Standard accreditation, a company or organization must establish programs to (1) reduce cancer risk, through discouraging tobacco use, encouraging physical activity and teaching diet and nutrition; (2) detect cancer at its earliest stages; and (3) provide access to quality care and clinical trials. Accreditation is awarded only after an organization meets or exceeds rigorous requirements set out by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer.

Employee health and wellness has long been a focus for the 116-year-old Wistar Institute. Wellness at Wistar, launched in 2006, formalizes this approach and addresses the key areas required for Gold Standard accreditation. Wellness at Wistar includes components such as: 

  • A tobacco-free workplace policy
  • Employee health benefits that cover smoking cessation, nutrition and weight control programs and/or treatment, fitness club membership, cancer screening tests and exams, and access to cancer care and qualifying clinical trials
  • A Wellness at Wistarintranet website, newsletter and other internal communications and education about cancer screening and prevention
  • Healthy food choices in the employee cafeteria and vending machines
  • Fostering a culture that promotes physical activity

William C. Weldon, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson & Johnson, chairs the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, the nonprofit organization of cancer-fighting CEOs that created the CEO Cancer Gold Standard, in collaboration with the American Cancer Society, NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers and leading corporate health professionals.

“This Gold Standard certification further acknowledges the leadership role of Wistar and other NCI-designated cancer centers to helping us win the battle against cancer,” said Weldon. “I commend CEO Russel Kaufman and the leadership team at Wistar for their unwavering commitment to the health and well-being of their employees.”

The CEO Roundtable on Cancer was founded in 2001 when former President George H.W. Bush challenged a group of executives to "do something bold and venturesome about cancer within your own corporate families." The CEOs responded with the CEO Cancer Gold Standard, and have since collaborated with the American Cancer Society to encourage its widespread adoption in workplaces across the country.  For more information on the CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ and the accreditation process, please visit

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the Web at