Simmons president to receive award for cancer prevention advocacy

Helen Drinan.

Helen Drinan.

The president of Simmons College is being honored for using her personal experience with breast cancer to encourage cancer prevention practices and reduce any stigma surrounding cancer.

The Silent Spring Institute is awarding Helen Drinan, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, the Rachel Carson Advocacy Award on Oct. 18, according to a joint statement from the Fenway college and Silent Spring.


“Now that I have firsthand cancer experience and understand the place of prevention in the order of research priorities, I am very motivated to do anything I can to prevent anyone else from having this dreaded experience,” Drinan said in a prepared statement.

The award is given annually to those who have worked to advance Silent Spring’s mission to find environmental links to breast cancer, the organizations said.

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Drinan, who has been president of Boston’s only women’s college since 2008, will receive the award at Silent Spring’s annual gala at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, the organizations said.

The award is given annually to people who have worked to identify environmental links to breast cancer, the organizations said.

“Whether it’s investing in playing fields free of toxic chemicals for student athletes or supporting curriculum on hazardous chemicals in products, Helen Drinan has been a leader in creating safe and healthy learning environments for young women,” said Dr. Julia Brody, executive director and senior scientist at Silent Spring.

Olivia Quintana can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @oliviasquintana.
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