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History

The Society of MSK was founded in 1946 by a group of women dedicated to enhancing the hospital environment and level of patient support that have always been the hallmarks of MSK.

Founders of The Society of MSK understood that for medical care to be truly effective, treatment needs to address the whole person, both physically and emotionally. With this in mind, members started by improving patients’ experiences through recreational therapy, art, fresh flowers, and other meaningful gestures.

As the effect of their work spread across the hospital, it soon became clear that these women had an extraordinary ability to raise much-needed funds for vital scientific research as well. Over many years, The Society’s financial support has made it possible for MSK to expedite innovative cancer investigations and to assume its position among the nation’s preeminent cancer research and treatment centers.

When The Society was founded, one of our major objectives was to fill the immediate needs of the hospital. From the beginning we urged all departments to present their respective needs and promised to make every effort to fill them... In addition, The Society had plenty of ideas of its own with regard to increasing comfort, beauty, and morale for the patients and those who attend to them; plenty of ideas on the vital matter of education of the public for its protection against cancer, and for support of the cancer hospital.

 Clelia Delafield,

  Founder & First President of The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

The Society of MSK Today

The Society has now raised more than $100 million and evolved into a full partner of MSK as an internationally renowned organization involved in both policy and fundraising in support of research, patient care programs, and education.

The Society consists of an Administrative Board of 63 members and another 66 members who participate in 21 working committees that further programs on the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer. This vibrant, dynamic, and highly effective organization works hard to raise funds for its vital programs.