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VCU Massey Cancer Center


Mary Helen Hackney appointed medical director of community oncology

Hackney is a breast cancer specialist with expertise in cancer education

Mary Helen Hackney [View Image]

Mary Helen Hackney, M.D., M.S., FACP, has been named medical director of community oncology at VCU Massey Cancer Center and VCU School of Medicine. She is an associate professor and the director of quality improvement in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care, Department of Internal Medicine at the VCU School of Medicine.

In her new role, Hackney will oversee the cancer center’s oncology clinics in South Hill and Tappahannock as well as partnerships with hospitals and oncology practices to provide Massey’s first-rate medical oncology services throughout Virginia and to rural communities.

“We are pleased to appoint Dr. Hackney to this important position, which is integral to continuing VCU Massey Cancer Center’s vital role as Virginia’s premier cancer resource for patient care, research and education,” said Robert Winn, M.D., cancer center director at Massey and senior associate dean for cancer innovation at the VCU School of Medicine.

A physician board certified in medical oncology and palliative care and a member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program at Massey, Hackney is specialized in the treatment, survivorship and risk reduction of breast cancer. In her role as director of quality control, she evaluates quality care improvements and works closely with hospital and School of Medicine leadership to advance related projects. She also serves as co-chair of the hospital cancer committee and has significant responsibilities for maintaining Massey’s accreditations with the Commission on Cancer and National Accreditation Program for Breast Cancers.

From 1998 to 2013, Hackney served as director of Massey’s former Rural Cancer Outreach Program, which enabled Massey oncologists and nurses to travel to community hospital sites that lacked oncology specialists to bring the highest level of cancer care to rural residents right in their community.  She is well known for her dedication to community education, leading dozens of presentations for community health care providers and the general public at churches, community centers and health care facilities.

“Dr. Hackney’s oncology expertise, commitment to community education and previous experience in leading Massey’s rural outreach efforts will benefit Massey’s statewide medical oncology clinics and partnerships and, ultimately, all of Virginia’s cancer community,” said Khalid Matin, M.D., interim chair of the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at the School of Medicine and principal investigator of Massey’s Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program (MU-NCORP) and associate medical director of the Cancer Service Line at Massey.

Hackney has served as a coordinator and principal investigator for many cancer control and NCI Community Oncology Research Program studies, and she has been a strong advocate of Massey’s comprehensive support services for patients, including the Integrative Health Program, for which she serves as an advisor. She came to VCU in 1988 for her internal medicine residency, completed a hematology/oncology fellowship and then joined the faculty in 1992 as a clinical instructor. She earned a medical degree from East Carolina University School of Medicine.

Hackney is recognized as an outstanding mentor, clinician, scientist and teacher. She received the VCU Women in Science, Dentistry and Medicine (WISDM) Organization Professional Achievement Award in 2009, the Porter Master Clinician Award in 2011 and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award in 2015 from the VCU School of Medicine. She was also named a physician champion by VCU Health System for demonstrating outstanding compassion in the delivery of care; respect for patients, their families and health care colleagues; and clinical excellence. Additionally, Hackney has been voted many times as a Richmond Magazine “Top Doc” and received the Sharon H. Kohlenberg Healthcare Service Award from the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation in 2005. She was given the Best Bedside Manner Award by Our Health Richmond magazine in 2013, and was named one of Virginia Lawyer’s Media’s Influential Women of Virginia in 2014.

“I’m looking forward to working more closely with my oncology peers throughout the state to collaborate to ensure that the highest quality, innovative cancer care is available for all Virginians,” said Hackney.


Written by: Jenny Owen

Posted on: October 20, 2020

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