Honoring A Pillar of Texas Children’s Cancer Center

June 13, 2024 | (9) Comments

It is such an honor to celebrate the remarkable career and upcoming retirement of Dr. David G. Poplack. Dr. Poplack joined Texas Children’s in 1993, bringing with him a passion for pediatric oncology and a commitment to patient-centered care that has defined his world-renowned career. During his 25 years as Director, the Cancer Center grew exponentially and went from seven faculty members, 42 employees and one laboratory to nearly 200 faculty members, more than 1,000 employees and over 40 laboratories today.

In 2018, Dr. Poplack decided to transition from Director to Associate Director and took on the role of Director of Global Hematology-Oncology Pediatric Excellence (HOPE) — a program aimed at improving pediatric cancer treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. Just as he impacted the growth of the Cancer Center, Global HOPE has blossomed under his leadership. When the program started, many countries did not have access to a pediatric oncologist and now, there are 26 trained pediatric oncologists and hundreds of nurses in multiple countries serving children who desperately need this care.

One of Dr. Poplack’s most significant contributions has been as a mentor, icon and role model teaching and mentoring countless young physicians — instilling in them the values of empathy and an unwavering dedication to patient care. I have no doubt that generations of physicians are changing lives for the better today because of his tireless efforts to teach and train other physician leaders.

Overall, Dr. Poplack has been a beacon of hope and healing for countless patients and their families, providing not only exceptional medical treatment but also the compassion and support that are so crucial during the cancer journey. His pioneering research and dedication to his work have truly advanced the boundaries of cancer treatment and his unique ability to connect with every patient on a personal level has left an indelible mark on the many patients and families he’s served — both in Houston and around the globe.

I cannot express enough just how much Dr. Poplack and Texas Children’s truly go hand-in-hand. He embodies our core values and our mission each and every day and I know that’s something that he will continue to do in a new capacity.

As Dr. Poplack embarks on his much-deserved retirement, we wish him all the best and remain immensely grateful that Texas Children’s played such a monumental role in the chapters he’s lived thus far. While we will greatly miss his daily presence, I know that his legacy will live on through the halls of Texas Children’s and continue to inspire us all as we care for every patient, every family and each other.

Thank you, Dr. Poplack, for your exceptional service to Texas Children’s and your patients around the world — you will always be a valued member of the Texas Children’s family.

9 Responses to “Honoring A Pillar of Texas Children’s Cancer Center”

  1. Jia Shen

    Best of luck to you in retirement! Most importantly as any employee of Texas children’s Hospital. I have worked in Texas Oncology for McKesson. As a part of McKesson Specialty Health which was the driving engine for Texas oncology.

  2. Quinn Franklin

    Dr. Poplack, thank you so much for your dedication to children and families impacted by cancer and blood disorders. It has been a pleasure to know you and work with you. Happy retirement!

  3. Rebecca Kirkland

    David, I remember so well when you arrived at TCH, We had so many interactions between Ped. Endocrinology and Oncology. Your wonderful faculty was always willing to collaborate and solve problems, taking the cue from you. May you have a joyous and well deserved retirement.

  4. Nancy Gordon

    I vividly remember when you first came to TCH, because I had the privilege of cheering the very first fundraiser for you and the Cancer Center- the luncheon where Dave Barry was the speaker. Your leadership with the Cancer Center has been phenomenal, the growth, amazing, and the number of children and families impacted wonderful! Then you took this effort around the globe! I congratulate you for your passion, empathy, and brilliance. Enjoy your retirement. Nancy Gordon

  5. Patricia Wills Bagnato

    Thank you for your service and leadership! I am honored to have worked on your team of APPs!
    You left an amazing legacy!
    I wish you many blessings!

  6. Brigitta Mueller

    Having known David Poplack for 35 years, I am sure that “retirement” will take on a new meaning for him. Although well deserved, he is such a force of nature and cares so much about pediatric oncology as a field, the patients and most of all about his mentees, staff and colleagues, that I am sure he will remain a wonderful resource for all of us. Many thanks from all of us, David, and happy next phase of your life!

  7. Susan Krause

    Dr. Poplack,
    How time flies when we’re having fun–3 decades of great memories! Thank you for your wisdom, understanding, friendship and above all, your kindness. You have left an indelible mark around the globe, impacting the care of countless children and careers of those you trained and mentored! Wishing you happiness in your much-deserved retirement! Susan K

  8. Donald Mahoney Jr

    Dr Poplack, thank you so much for your extraordinary leadership and mentorship during your many years at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center. Your vision and untiring drive lead to the creation of a world-renowned Cancer and Hematology center, and your kind and supportive mentorship of trainees and faculty, including myself, sustained the growth and productivity of that center. Very warm congratulations to you.

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