In nominating her, Ken Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, noted her long history of actively supporting and advocating for cancer research at UNMC and the center, including her work with the annual Cattlemen's Ball.
"This is not an award I won alone," said Pavlik, adding that her group, which puts on the Cattlemen's Ball, is "like a huge family."
"Kae is a very passionate advocate for the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and cancer research," Dr. Cowan said. "She has a personal connection to cancer research, having had family members treated at the cancer center.
"She is highly articulate, well-informed and passionate," he said. "She makes it a point to spread the word about the work being done at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and at UNMC to the many people she knows across the state of Nebraska."
In fact, Pavlik said one of the most important parts of the Cattlemen's Ball is that it lets UNMC and the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center reach out to the western part of the state about the new care and cutting-edge research that is going on at UNMC.
"They've brought on new researchers, top researchers," she said. "You can see it growing, that we're getting a handle on cancer."
Pavlik has served on the center's Advocates Board of Directors since 1996 and is one of the founders of the Cattlemen's Ball of Nebraska, an event that to date has raised more than $12 million for cancer research at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and health care charities and organizations around Nebraska. She currently serves on the Cattlemen's Ball Advisory Board.
"When I got invited to the first Cattlemen's Ball, they asked if I'd lend a helping hand," Pavlik said. "I kind of never let go. The event has truly proved a success, and that's my greatest happiness."
Pavlik also has served as a member of the center's Community Advisory Board, providing input on center events and activities.
"Kae Pavlik is truly an asset to the research community at UNMC and very deserving of this honor," Dr. Cowan said. "The funds raised by the Cattlemen's Ball are crucial to the Buffett Cancer Center's success, and Kae's dedication and leadership have been integral."
Congrats to Kae! She has a heart of gold and has been a tremendous ambassador for our cancer center.
Kae, You have been wonderful for Eppley. Carol Russell