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Business, labor unite to support Knight Cancer Challenge

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Photo Credit: COURTESY GARD COMMUNICATIONS - OHSU President Dr. Joe Robertson introduces the Unite for the Knight coalition, with business and labor representatives standing together in support of the Knight Cancer Challenge, during a Sept. 23 press conference.A coalition of seven Oregon business and labor organizations has announced the launch of Unite for the Knight, a new campaign to raise money for the Knight Cancer Challenge, during a Tuesday morning press conference.

During a Tuesday morning press conference, the coalition promised to work together and leverage their memberships to build support for the unprecedented $1 billion fundraising drive. The goal is to help OHSU find smarter, faster ways to detect cancer earlier, when the disease is most curable.

“In the fight against cancer, we’re all on the same side,” OHSU President Joe Robertson, MD, MBA, said. “That’s why we’re excited to have Oregon labor and business organizations Unite for the Knight in support of the Knight Cancer Challenge. With this group’s support, we will continue moving closer to our goal of ending cancer as we know it.”

Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny, have pledged $500 million to this OHSU initiative if the university can raise $500 million in two years through the Knight Cancer Challenge. More than $481 million has been raised so far, including $200 million in bonds approved by the 2014 Oregon Legislature to construct research facilities.

Unite for the Knight coalition members include Oregon AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Associated Oregon Industries, Oregon Business Association, Oregon Business Council, Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council and Portland Business Alliance. Over the next year, these organizations will encourage broad participation among members and the larger community in support of the Knight Cancer Challenge.

The announcement was made today during a press event at the Collaborative Life Sciences Building at South Waterfront, with leaders from Oregon business and labor showing solidarity in support of the Knight Cancer Challenge.

“The Knight Cancer Challenge is a unique opportunity for all Oregonians to come together and help stop cancer in its tracks,” said Brian Gard, president of Gard Communications and past chair of Oregon Business Association, speaking on behalf of business. “Through this united effort, business and labor will help OHSU achieve more life-changing wins against this disease.”

“Cancer impacts all of us in some way, and Oregon unions are no exception,” said John Mohlis, executive secretary for the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council, speaking on behalf of labor. “Today, Oregon has an opportunity to take the lead once again in the fight against cancer, and through the Unite for the Knight coalition, business and labor are working together to do our part.”

The coalition has set up a website that enables members and organizations to donate. Visit www.unitefortheknight.org to learn more.

Earlier this year, a group of Oregon labor and business leaders made a commitment to come together to address various issues that affect the state. The Unite for the Knight campaign represents the first accomplishment of this partnership. A broad coalition of labor and business groups will

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About Unite for the Knight

In the fight against cancer, we’re all on the same side. That’s why labor and business have come together to help the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute achieve another life-changing win against cancer. Unite for the Knight is a coalition of Oregon business and union locals working together to raise money for the Knight Cancer Challenge. Visit www.unitefortheknight.org to learn more.

About the Knight Cancer Challenge