On May 28, Paul Krekorian, president of the Los Angeles City Council, recognized May 2024 as Brain Tumor Awareness Month for the first time in the city’s history and honored the USC Brain Tumor Center, part of Keck Medicine of USC, whose advocacy efforts played a large role in the decision.

“Increased public awareness of brain tumors through advocacy and support for vital research, as well as education about the impact brain tumors have on the lives of patients and their families, are critical to finding a cure,” Krekorian said in his remarks.

Krekorian was accompanied by members of the USC Brain Tumor Center’s leadership and staff: Gabriel Zada, MD, co-director; David Tran, MD, PhD, co-director; Josh Neman, PhD, scientific director; Paola Mork, MHA, program manager; Steven Giannotta, MD; Nancy Hart, RN, MSN, CPON, nurse navigator; Rebekah Ghazaryan, RN; and Jinsy Rogers, LCSW.

Speaking on behalf of the center, Zada said, “It’s our task to take on this disease, whether it’s to provide care for patients or support for caregivers or their families. Ultimately, our goal is to cure brain tumors and to continue to perform research. We have an amazing team behind me today — of surgeons, oncologists, scientists, social workers, nurses and the list goes on. We thank you all for the time and recognition today for this really important disease.”

Moments later, Krekorian presented the group with a framed, calligraphed version of the official proclamation, adding that the city is “truly blessed to be the home of the USC Brain Tumor Center.”

One week earlier, a similar proclamation was made at an LA County Board of Supervisors meeting where Supervisor Lindsey Horvath put forth the motion to recognize Brain Tumor Awareness Month at the county level.

Horvath’s submission also called for the council to “recognize the University of Southern California’s Brain Tumor Center for their heroic contributions to transforming lives and creating resilient communities.”

Approximately 1 million people in the United States live with one of the more than 100 distinct types of primary brain tumor. Keck Medicine of USC is grateful to the City of Los Angeles for recognizing the hard work everyone at the USC Brain Tumor Center is doing to better understand, treat and cure brain tumors.

— Kate Faye