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Published on November 16, 2017

NCORP awards

Gundersen oncologists, researchers acknowledged for clinical trial enrollment

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded three Gundersen Hematology/Oncology doctors, and their research staff, with Physician Accrual Awards for their ongoing enrollment in cancer clinical trials through NCI's National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).

Congratulations to:

  • Kurt Oettel, MD – 2017 Silver Certificate of Excellence Award (20-29 total accruals) 
  • Michael Ojelabi, MD – 2017 Certificate of Appreciation Award (11-19 total accruals) 
  • Benjamin Parsons, DO – 2017 Certificate of Appreciation Award (11-19 total accruals)

Awards for 2017 were based on the first three years of NCORP accrual (Aug. 1, 2014 – June 26, 2017). A total 358 awards (about 10 percent of NCORP rostered accruing physicians) were given in four categories: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Appreciation.

As one of 40 NCORP sites across the nation, Gundersen Health System has a direct connection to the NCI which provides cutting-edge clinical trials for patients with cancer.

"In oncology, we must participate in clinical trials as this is the ‘only' way our field is going to move forward," states Dr. Oettel, who leads our NCORP work at Gundersen. "Our participation in NCORP has opened the door to many trials that other institutions simply cannot participate in. These trials ask and answer questions that no one else (pharmacology manufacturers, drug companies and device makers) will ask."

On any given day, Gundersen has about 100 open cancer clinical trials and enrolls about 120 patients annually.

"We are on the cutting-edge of clinical trials and are fortunate to be as engaged as we are here at Gundersen. This is a tribute to our providers and research staff," Dr. Oettel adds.

"On behalf of Gundersen Medical Foundation, thank you to Drs. Oettel, Ojelabi and Parsons—and all of our providers and research staff who are part of the NCI roster—for their compassion, perseverance and outstanding commitment to the NCORP network," says Deb Kettner-Sieber, program manager, Medical Research. "Their involvement in these clinical trials provides opportunities for our patients to participate in cutting-edge cancer research close to home. Without clinical trial participation, advances in medicine and standard-of-care treatment regimens would not exist."


  • The National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) is a national network of investigators, cancer care providers, academic institutions and other community-based healthcare practices who are committed to bringing cancer clinical trials and cancer care and delivery research to people in their own communities. 
  • Gundersen is one of 40 NCORP sites in the nation. We work in partnership with Marshfield Clinic and St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center in Green Bay to form what is known as Wisconsin NCORP (WiNCORP).
  • NCORP formed in August 2014, replacing two previous NCI community-based clinical research programs—both of which Gundersen Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders was involved.
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