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April 10, 2023

Jensen joins a roster of more than 41 community leaders honored by the College over the years for their civic leadership and philanthropic activities in Johnson County.

The Johnson County Community College (JCCC) Foundation has selected Roy A. Jensen, M.D., as the 2023 Johnson Countian of the Year. Dr. Jensen will be recognized at the Foundation’s annual fundraising gala, Some Enchanted Evening, on Nov. 11, 2023.

“The JCCC Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Jensen for this esteemed honor. His passion for and focus on discovering effective cancer treatments is not only inspiring, but it has improved the lives of so many in this area,” said Joy Ginsburg, Executive Director of the JCCC Foundation. “Dr. Jensen exemplifies the kind of compassionate curiosity and tireless leadership that enriches Johnson County and the Kansas City area. We are all fortunate to benefit from the results of his efforts.”

Dr. Jensen’s medical career has been characterized by a deep desire to improve cancer care and quality of life for people who face that medical challenge. He was appointed director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center in 2004. In that role, he has recruited a world-class leadership team and coordinated the successful effort to earn the center the National Cancer Institute’s Comprehensive Cancer Center designation in 2022. As the state’s only recognized Comprehensive Cancer Center, The University of Kansas Cancer Center takes an innovative approach to research, drug discovery, delivery, and development, all in pursuit of innovative, effective approaches to preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer.

In addition to leading the Cancer Center, Dr. Jensen is currently Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Professor of Cancer Biology, and the William R. Jewell, M.D. Distinguished Kansas Masonic Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Prior to his appointment at the University of Kansas, Jensen was a member of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and a faculty member in Pathology, Cell Biology, and Cancer Biology for 13 years. Dr. Jensen’s research interests have focused on understanding the function of BRCA1 and BRCA2 and their role in the development of tumors. He has authored more than 150 scientific publications and has lectured extensively on the clinical and molecular aspects of breast cancer pathology.

“Each year Johnson County Community College — through the JCCC Foundation — recognizes a person, couple, or group who have positively contributed to life in the county in a way that aligns with JCCC’s mission to inspire learning to transform lives and strengthen communities,” said Andy Bowne, JCCC President and CEO. “Dr. Jensen’s leadership, research, and collaboration have resulted in establishing a world-class level of cancer care in our community that proves the positive impact ongoing learning can bring.”

Dr. Jensen joins a roster of more than 40 previous Johnson Countians of the Year. First awarded to Robert H. Meneilly in 1987, the annual award honors community leaders who make a positive contribution to Johnson County. The award is presented at JCCC’s Some Enchanted Evening Gala, a black-tie gala dinner that raises support for student scholarship programs each year. Thanks to the funds raised by the Foundation through events like this evening of recognition and inspiration, more than 1,000 JCCC students receive the financial support they need to achieve their educational goals each year. The 2023 gala will be held Nov. 11, 2023, at the Overland Park Convention Center; Jerry and Sharon Cook are the event co-chairs. The Foundation is currently seeking corporate sponsors for the event. Individual and group tickets will be available for purchase in early May.

Previous Johnson Countian of the Year award winners are: Steven D. Wilkinson, 2022; Clay Blair, 2021; essential workers with JCCC ties, 2020; Frank H. Devocelle, 2019; Drs. David and Mary Zamierowski, 2018; Mark Gilman, 2017; Adam Hamilton, 2016; Mary Davidson Cohen, 2015; Dr. Gary Morsch, 2014; Lynn Mitchelson, 2013; Audrey Langworthy, 2012; David Wysong, 2010; Terry and Peggy Dunn, 2009; Fred Logan, 2008; Dick and Barbara Shull, 2007; Norman and Elaine Polsky, 2006; Ed Eilert, 2005; Robert D. Regnier, 2004; Walter Hiersteiner, 2003; Mary Birch, 2002; Drue Jennings, 2001; Betty Keim, 2000; Steve Rose, 1999; Charles J. Carlsen, 1998; George and Floriene Lieberman, 1997; Dick Bond, 1996; William Dunn, 1995; Adele Hall, 1994; SuEllen Fried, 1993; James P. Sunderland, 1992; Stan and Shirley Rose, 1991; John H. Robinson, 1990; Paul H. Henson, 1989; Ben Craig, 1988; and Robert H. Meneilly, 1987. In 2011, all previous Johnson Countians of the Year were honored for the 25th anniversary of Some Enchanted Evening.