The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ontonagon Cancer Association to receive $10,000 donation


April 27, 2018


Ontonagon — A former White Pine resident and White Pine High School graduate has obtained a $10,000 donation for the Ontonagon County Cancer Association.

Chris Maksym grew up in White Pine and graduated with the class of 1978 at White Pine. He attended the University of Michigan, where he received both bachelor of science and doctor of pharmacy degrees. He has been at the university for 40 years.

He completed his pharmacy residency training program and then worked in home infusion pharmacy for the majority of his career.

Maksym has also been on the faculty of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Michigan, currently as a Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy. He also serves as an experiential training and research investigations preceptor for pharmacy students and as a mentor for the Michigan Pharmacy Foundation Health Professional Leadership Academy.

He retired from the university in December.

Maksym was a director on the Blue Shield of Michigan Board for three years and the association with BCBSM resulted in the $10,000 donation.

Maksym said Blue Cross is committed to increase access to affordable health care, enhance quality of care patients receive and improve the health of Michigan’s citizens and communities.

“I have had a nearly life-long awareness of the Ontonagon County Cancer Association through the annual spring drive that my mother (the late Joanne Maksym) and neighbor (Kathy Marchand) participated in,” Maksym said.

He chose to make a request for the Blue Cross contribution “because the Ontonagon County Cancer Association’s mission and actions align with the BCBSM mission of improving patient care and wellness by providing free PSA and mammogram screening.

“I know these free screening programs increase access for Ontonagon County citizens who otherwise would not pursue these tests,” he said.

Disease prevention, early detection and maintaining health wellness are cornerstones to maintaining healthy populations and decreasing overall health care costs, especially in rural areas such as Ontonagon County, he said.

“I wish you and the OCCA team a very successful door-to-door fund campaign this spring and hope that funds collected enable the OCCA to provide support to more people. Although I have been in lower Michigan for the past 40 years, the U.P. and especially Ontonagon County remain very special to me and my family,” he said.

In addition to free testing, the OCCA provides up to $1,000 a year to cancer patients for cancer bills.


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