Roy Jensen, University of Kansas Cancer Center director, named 2017 ‘Kansas Citian of the Year’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The driving force behind the University of Kansas Cancer Center has been awarded one of Kansas City's biggest honors.

Roy Jensen, director of the KU Cancer Center, was named the 2017 Kansas Citian of the Year on Tuesday.

“Dr. Jensen is passionate in his fight against cancer, and his leadership has brought front line cancer research and treatment to our region,” said Joe Reardon, president and CEO of the KC Chamber.  “His work has directly saved lives in Kansas City and is contributing to the betterment of our entire Kansas City region.”

Jensen was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and returned to the area in 2004 to take over as director at the KU Cancer Center.

There, he guided the center to become a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. In the United States, there are only 69 NCI-designated centers, which are the only centers allowed to hold today's most advanced clinical trials.

This past summer, the center's designation was renewed, and its score increased from "excellent" to "outstanding."

“Roy Jensen, through his leadership and collaboration, has brought NCI (National Cancer Institute) designation to our town … and has changed cancer care and the quality of life for everyone in Kansas City,” said 2016 Kansas Citian of the Year Don Hall, Jr.