Swedish Celebrates Dr. Saul Rivkin's Long, Impressive Career as a Devoted, Accomplished Medical Oncologist and Researcher in Fight Against Ovarian Cancer

June 06, 2013

By Swedish News

SEATTLE, June 6, 2013 – Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) announced today that Saul Rivkin, M.D., medical oncologist, as well as founder and board chair of the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research, will retire from his clinical practice at SCI on July 1, 2013. The highly respected and revered physician, who is 77 years old and has five daughters and seven grandchildren, Dr. Rivkin is best known for his committed, tenacious approach to fighting cancer and the personal connection he has established with the thousands of patients he has cared for over the years.

“Saul’s influence in developing the fundamental, on-going philosophy of personalized cancer care at Swedish is profound,” said Thomas Brown, M.D., executive director of the Swedish Cancer Institute. “For Saul, and everyone at Swedish, involvement with leading-edge clinical research is synonymous with the best possible care delivery. Dr. Rivkin leaves a legacy of compassionate and dedicated care for his patients; a legacy that will continue to inspire all of us at the Swedish Cancer Institute.”

In 1993, Dr. Rivkin’s wife, Marsha, died from ovarian cancer. With a new found commitment to ovarian cancer research, Saul founded the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research, housed at Swedish/First Hill. His guidance has made the Rivkin Center one of the leading catalysts for national and international efforts in all fields of ovarian cancer research. The Rivkin Center has raised and invested nearly $14 million in research since its inception and this number continues to increase.

“My life’s work has been committed to healing and helping people with cancer and Swedish has supported me in every step,” said Dr. Rivkin. “Finding a cure for ovarian cancer is my dream and I will continue to work towards that goal for as long as I am on this earth. I am forever grateful to those who have supported me on this journey.”

Dr. Rivkin received his doctorate from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1964, and joined Swedish in 1971 as one of the hospital’s first medical oncologists. By the early 1970’s, he became the leading force that established clinical research at the Swedish Cancer Institute. Under his leadership, Swedish engaged the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) for access to clinical trials. Five years later, Swedish received its first National Institutes of Health grant award in support of SWOG activities with Dr. Rivkin as principal investigator. Today, this grant has more than 36 years of continuous funding. Other research accomplishments include the clinical introduction and adoption of several significant investigational cancer drugs.

Dr. Rivkin has also been recognized, repeatedly and nationally, for his landmark work in Adjuvant Treatment for early stage breast cancer. His 48-year professional career also includes acting as a Professor of Clinical Oncology, University of Washington; President, Puget Sound Oncology Consortium; and Principal Investigator, Southwest Oncology Group.

“While Dr. Rivkin may be retiring from Swedish, he will remain an essential part of the Rivkin Center team, providing critical guidance to everyone involved,” said Clint Burwell, executive director of the Rivkin Center. “Saul’s resolute dedication to finding a solution for ovarian cancer has never been stronger.”

The Rivkin Center Announces the Formation of the Saul Rivkin Innovation Fund

To honor Dr. Rivkin’s remarkable clinical career and help fulfill his great ambition to continue to grow and prioritize the national research focus on ovarian cancer, the Rivkin Center has also announced its effort to create the Saul Rivkin Innovation Fund. With an initial goal to raise $1 million, this new fund aims to provide the Center the flexibility to support emerging research projects, quickly developing opportunities, and other essential projects that lie outside the scope of our traditional, long-term grant-making programs. In its spirit, the Innovation Fund is reflective of the nimbleness, responsiveness, commitment and passion that Dr. Rivkin brought to his clinical practice over his almost five-decade-long career.


About the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research

Since its inception in 1996, the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research has been a major catalyst for national and international research efforts aimed at finding solutions to ovarian cancer. A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Marsha Rivkin Center looks beyond institutional boundaries and works collaboratively to find a cure for ovarian cancer. Founded by renowned Swedish Cancer Institute medical oncologist Saul Rivkin, M.D., in memory of his wife who succumbed to ovarian cancer, the Marsha Rivkin Center is a joint partnership between Swedish Medical Center and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Center is dedicated to saving lives and reducing suffering through improved treatment, early detection and prevention of ovarian cancer. For more information visit www.rivkin.org, www.facebook.com/rivkincenter or call 206-215-6200.

About Swedish

Swedish has grown over the last 103 years to become the largest non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area. It is comprised of five hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds and Issaquah); ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek; and Swedish Medical Group, a network of more than 100 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Greater Puget Sound area. In addition to general medical and surgical care including robotic-assisted surgery, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. In early 2012, Swedish affiliated with Providence Health & Services, which is a not-for-profit Catholic health-care ministry committed to providing for the needs of the communities it serves – especially for those who are poor and vulnerable. The affiliation expanded both organizations’ ability to carry out their individual missions. With this affiliation, the combined scope of services includes 32 hospitals, 350 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and many other health and educational services. For more information, visit www.swedish.org, www.facebook.com/swedishmedicalcenter, www.twitter.com/swedish or www.providence.org.