two men in front of a field of sunflowersWe are truly grateful for the incredible generosity of our corporate and individual donors who supported our annual philanthropic drive, which was an overwhelming success. Their enthusiasm and passion inspire us, and we will strive to use their donations to enhance patient care, pursue groundbreaking research and educate the next class of Buckeye surgeons.

New professorship to support pancreatic cancer research

When Bob Berry was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he was in his prime with a successful floral and home décor business in Medina, Ohio, that he had built with his wife, Teri. After initially being told that his tumor was unresectable, Bob and Teri reached out to their personal contacts and did their own research, which led them to Timothy Pawlik, MD, PhD, MPH, at the OSUCCC – James, an internationally recognized expert in alimentary tract surgery, particularly for hepatic, pancreatic and biliary disease.

“We hit it off immediately,” Dr. Pawlik says. “We talked honestly from the get-go, and I explained why the procedure would be difficult, but I also told them that I was convinced it could be done. Bob decided to trust me, and the surgery was a success.”

In the three years since, this surgeon/patient duo have formed a lasting connection that’s led to new development opportunities for the Ohio State Department of Surgery. Bob and Teri hosted their third fundraiser benefiting the department at their Medina-based Berry’s Blooms, where they cultivate and sell flowers, in 2023.

Funds generated by the Berrys and their efforts have led to the new Berry’s Blooms Endowed Professorship in Pancreatic Cancer. The focus of this Designated Professorship is on health services research to assess and improve the delivery of high-value cancer care.

Reflecting on this newest endowment, Dr. Pawlik says, “All this started with one patient and his family putting their trust in our surgical team and The James. The care, compassion and trust that Bob and Teri experienced here at Ohio State evolved into a partnership, and their generosity has fueled this new gift that will have immense impact for years to come — helping both patients and faculty studying pancreatic cancer.”

Our mission is to deliver high-quality patient care, contribute to innovations in medicine through basic and translational research and clinical outcome studies, and educate medical students and postgraduate trainees to ensure an adequate supply of surgeons for the future. Your generous gift can help make all of that happen.

To support the Department of Surgery, visit