The Hale Family receives the Sidney Farber Medical Research Award.

The Hale Family receives the Sidney Farber Medical Research Award.

In November 2023, Dana-Farber Trustee Judy Hale, Dana-Farber Trustee Karen Hale, Rob Hale, Elizabeth Hale Kendall, and Richard Kendall were awarded the Sidney Farber Medical Research Award in recognition of the Hale Family’s outstanding contributions and service to the Institute for many decades. Dana-Farber’s highest honor, the Sidney Farber Medical Research Award was established in 1968 in appreciation of the contributions Sidney Farber, MD, made to medicine and to the development and support of cancer care and research around the world.

The Hale Family name has become synonymous with Dana-Farber’s focused efforts to understand, prevent, and treat pancreatic cancer, and their philanthropy has made the Institute a worldwide leader and pioneer in this work. “It is a disease that really needs champions,” says Brian Wolpin, MD, MPH, director of the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research and of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center, and the Robert T. and Judith B. Hale Chair in Pancreatic Cancer at Dana-Farber. “The Hale Family’s commitment to making an impact has built a foundation of collaboration and innovation that has accelerated pancreatic cancer research, translated discoveries to the clinic, and improved patient outcomes.”

The Hale Family’s support of Dana-Farber honors the memory of Judy’s late husband, Robert “Bob” T. Hale Sr., who was a generous philanthropist in his own right and who was treated at Dana-Farber for pancreatic cancer.

In 2007, Bob and Judy Hale established the Robert T. Hale Sr. and Judith B. Hale Fund for Pancreatic Research. In 2012, Judy made a $10 million gift to establish the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer and name the Robert T. and Judith B. Hale Chair in Pancreatic Cancer at Dana-Farber. The Hale Family’s commitment to research and care has continued across the generations as Judy, along with her son and daughter-in-law, Rob and Karen, made an additional $15 million gift in 2016, and a tremendous $50 million gift in 2021 to establish and further support the Hale Family Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research. This latest gift represents the largest single gift to pancreatic cancer research in the Institute’s history and one of the largest gifts to The Dana-Farber Campaign. With this gift, the Hale Family’s cumulative giving to Dana-Farber surpassed $80 million, making them the second largest individual donors to the Institute.

So much of Dana-Farber’s progress in pancreatic cancer can be traced to the Hale Family’s involvement and leadership. “With the Hales’ support, we are pushing the frontiers of what is possible, and we will not rest until we find cures for this devastating disease—for all the patients we serve today, and those all around the world who look to us for hope,” reflects Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO of Dana-Farber and the Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine.

While this award is embedded in Judy’s heart forever, she continues to focus on the biggest prize of all: “I am thinking big and hope to make a difference in erasing this miserable disease for everyone around the globe. When pancreatic cancer is no more, I hope that the Hale Center will have been a leader in this victory.”

For more stories about the impact of philanthropy at Dana-Farber, please visit

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