The Karen Van Rassel Leadership Award was created through a generous grant from Celgene following Karen’s retirement, to honour her commitment to Lymphoma Coalition and tremendous achievements in the global blood cancer community during her tenure as the organisation’s CEO.

Award Criteria

The Karen Van Rassel Leadership Award will be granted to a Lymphoma Coalition Member Organisation that best demonstrates the following criteria:

Exemplary Improvement in the Care of People Living with Lymphoma

  • Demonstrates a positive and tangible impact on the care of people living with lymphoma. This may include but is not limited to:
    • Policy change to improve the care of people living with lymphoma.
    • System change in hospitals, clinics or other institutions that improves the care of people living with lymphoma.
    • Education and support for people living with lymphoma, based on credible information.

Outstanding Global Leadership

  • Demonstrates a leadership role in Lymphoma Coalition activities and drives organisational goals forward (globally or locally).
  • Works collaboratively and creatively within LC activities including World Lymphoma Awareness Day, Global Summit, etc.
  • Contributes to regional or global blood cancer or oncology communities in meaningful ways.

A Commitment to Organisational Sustainability

  • Commits to their organisation’s sustainability by identifying and working towards long- and short-term strategic goals that include financial viability and engaging an effective, dedicated team of staff (as applicable) and volunteers.

2019 Award Recipient

The 2019 award was presented to Linfomas Argentina. This organisation does an incredible job educating and supporting patients – building a program up from nothing to the multitude of services offered today. They have rallied an enthusiastic team of volunteers and staff, as well as engaging healthcare professionals to the cause. At the same time, they have become involved in broader national, regional and global discussions to change the healthcare systems in order to improve care. This includes successfully building on global initiatives like World Lymphoma Awareness Day with their own local spin to increase knowledge of lymphomas. Their team is also committed to learning, ensuring they stay up to date in this ever-changing lymphoma landscape and bring new ideas and skills to the organisation.

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Dr Haydee Gonzalez, the co-founder of Linfomas Argentina, chose to take her personal experience with lymphoma and dedicate her time and energy into making the situation better for people diagnosed after her. She didn’t do this for her own benefit, but from a deep desire to help others. As a result, Linfomas Argentina has helped many, many people through the combined hard work of all involved.

Congratulations on winning the 2019 Karen Van Rassel Leadership award!

About Karen Van RasselKVR

Karen Van Rassel is the retired Chief Executive Officer of Lymphoma Coalition.

Karen was a founding member of Lymphoma Coalition and held the position of CEO from 2010 till 2018, during which time she took a special interest in Lymphoma Coalition’s growth and membership support. Prior to that, Karen was the Executive Director of Lymphoma Canada.

Before her work in the lymphoma community, Karen was involved in a number of children’s charities in various roles, holding a board position as well as working as Director of Corporate and Business Development.

She brought 20 years’ experience from the Marketing and Advertising industry to these charities.

Karen is now a proud grandmother and busy with volunteer work.


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