Dr. Souweidane Named President of BTF Kids

Mark Souweidane, MD, has been named the first president of BTF Kids, a new pediatric arm of the Brain Tumor Foundation. At the annual Tribute Dinner on April 10, 2024, Dr. Philip E. Stieg, Chair of Neurosurgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and president emeritus of BTF, installed Dr. Nelson Oyesiku as the new president and Dr. Souweidane as president of BTF Kids.

Dr. Philip Stieg and Dr. Nelson Oyesiku at BTF Tribute Dinner 2024

Dr. Philip Stieg and Dr. Nelson Oyesiku at BTF Tribute Dinner 2024

Dr. Souweidane, who is professor of neurosurgery and vice chair of the department of neurological surgery, is the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and has an additional appointment at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, where he co-directs the combined pediatric neurosurgery service of NewYork-Presbyterian. He is also director of pediatric neurosurgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Souweidane is internationally recognized as a leader in pediatric neuro-oncology and is on the National Cancer Institute’s Brain Malignancies Steering Committee as well as on the Children’s Oncology Group’s Central Nervous System Steering Committee. He is also a member of the BTF board of directors, along with Dr. Stieg and Dr. Theodore Schwartz.

The Brain Tumor Foundation, founded in 1999 with a mission of supporting early detection, launched BTF Kids to help young patients and their families navigate the frightening experience of brain tumor diagnosis and treatment. In 2019 BTF developed a smartphone app called My Health Journey with advice from pediatric neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, neuropsychologists, and Child Life specialists, including Dr. Souweidane and others from NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medicine; that app helped launch BTF Kids as a division of the larger organization.

“I’m honored to take on this role in BTF Kids,” says Dr. Souweidane. “I’ve worked with them over the years on several initiatives, and I am impressed by the organization’s dedication to supporting patients. An expansion into pediatric brain tumors is an excellent step, and I am so glad to be able to help them help patients and families.”

Dr. Stieg, a former president of BTF, seconded the praise. “Early detection has always been the primary mission of BTF, and as surgeons we certainly endorse the benefits of diagnosis a brain tumor as early as possible. We look forward to helping the mission expand into pediatrics to help the youngest patients and their families.”

BTF Kids is now focusing its efforts on funding research aimed at early detection and potential preventative measures within the pediatric brain tumor community. This critical area has historically received little attention, yet it holds significant promise for improving overall outcomes for children facing brain tumor diagnoses. 

More about Dr. Souweidane

More about Dr. Stieg

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