Nebraska Cures honors biomedical research advocates

by Karen Burbach, UNMC strategic communications | May 04, 2021

Image with caption: From left, Bob and Helen Bartee, recipients of the Lifesaver Award

From left, Bob and Helen Bartee, recipients of the Lifesaver Award

The Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures recently honored three UNMC champions for their transformational impact on biomedical research during its 18th Annual Spring Tribute Luncheon.

During the April 26 online ceremony, Nebraska Cures presented:

  • The Livesaver Award to Bob and Helen Bartee of Omaha for the impact they've made through their passionate support of medical research. As vice chancellor for external relations at UNMC and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Bob has been a leader in designing strategies for public policy advocacy and conveying the importance of lifesaving research. His success in directing tobacco settlement funds toward biomedical research and the state's cigarette tax to cancer research has benefited countless Nebraskans. Helen's advocacy roles in the community range from early childhood education to the Audubon Society of Omaha.
    picture disc.
    Don Coulter, MD
  • The Dr. Harold & Beverly Maurer Scientific Achievement Award to Don Coulter, MD, professor in the UNMC Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. The award recognizes a promising early career scientist or clinician. Dr. Coulter serves as director of the Pediatric Cancer Research Group, a multidisciplinary team identifying new cellular and molecular targets in childhood cancers for therapeutic interventions. He also serves as the Children's Oncology Group Principal Investigator at UNMC.

Nebraska Cures -- formed in 2000 as Nebraskans for Research before changing its name in 2007 -- was created to protect critical research, boost science literacy and dispel scientific misinformation. That mission continues today, said Omaha businessman and past Nebraska Cures honoree Mike Yanney.

"It is important that this group continue to communicate facts about biomedical research to our politicians, community leaders and the community at-large," Yanney said. "I don't spend much time on Twitter or Facebook, but I know how much misinformation is out there in cyberspace."

In introducing the Bartees, Yanney praised Bob for his tireless behind-the-scenes advocacy work. "Bob has been a champion of communicating the benefits of biomedical research throughout his decades-long career at UNMC."

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, agreed, noting how the past 15 months have demonstrated the importance of science literacy and the need for scientifically accurate information upon which to make public health decisions.

During her keynote address, Mary Woolley, president of Research!America, also praised Nebraska Cures and its awardees for recognizing that a connection to the community is key to serving the public's interest. "Imagining a better future is what we work for and what you work for," she said. "We are all patients, and we all want better healthier futures."


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Bev Maurer
May 19, 2021 at 8:54 AM

It’s gratifying to see that Nebraska Cures remains vigilant in advocating honest scientific information. Kudos to the leadership. Bev and Hal Maurer

Tom O’Connor
May 04, 2021 at 9:41 AM

Congrats to all three recipients. The Bartees are amazing people who have left an indelible mark on our state. Dr. Coulter has been awesome in boosting pediatric cancer care. Great selections!

Nagendra Chaturvedi
May 04, 2021 at 9:02 AM

Congratulations! Dr. Coulter

Carol Russell
May 04, 2021 at 7:45 AM

Congratulations to Helen and Bob and to Don for all they have done to advance the importance of medical research Carol Russell

Lisa Runco
May 04, 2021 at 7:20 AM

Congratulations to Bob and Helen Bartee, true champions for the University of Nebraska. And to Dr. Coulter, for all he has done and continues to do, to foster new discoveries in pursuit of child cancer treatments.

Stacie Hamel
May 04, 2021 at 6:07 AM

Congratulations, Bob and Helen, on a well-deserved honor!