The CEO Roundtable on Cancer has recognized Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada), and Major General Elder Granger for their contributions to cancer research with the Spirit of Health Award.

The Spirit of Health Award was created in 2021 to focus attention on the health of those disproportionately affected by cancer and the difference that one person or company can make through their leadership, vision, passion, and drive to connect people and institutions to eliminate disparities.

The Award recognizes individuals and companies who have worked in extraordinary and tireless ways to elevate communities of health, accelerate health equity, bridge the gap of the cancer burden, expand cancer prevention and health education and ensure access to care.


Merck is a founding member of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, a founding partner of the Going for Gold health equity initiative, a Cancer Gold Standard accredited employer since 2018 and a member of the Life Sciences Council, a group of research leaders who advise the Roundtable and its Project Data Sphere program.

“Merck is honored to receive the Spirit of Health Award because advancing health equity is integral to our mission to save and improve lives around the world,” said Dr. Eric H. Rubin, senior vice president, oncology early development, Merck Research Laboratories. “We are committed to doing our part to bridge gaps in cancer care and address health disparities through education, increased access to screening and quality treatment in order to decrease the burden of a cancer diagnosis for more patients.”

As a cornerstone partner in the Going for Gold initiative, Merck shared its expertise in expanding access to care and clinical trials to strengthen program offerings at the Roundtable. The company is closely engaged with programs from health and wellness to research and data analytics, pulling in its experts to support the breadth of work by the Roundtable.

“Merck has always been a leader in commitment and work to improve health for all,” Louv said as he presented the award to Eric H. Rubin, M.D., Merck’s senior vice president, oncology early development. “The company has used well known global programs, such as Merck for Mothers, as a catalyst to tackle other equally urgent health challenges including cancer and for addressing health disparities through our Going for Gold effort, which directly partners with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions to address prevention, screening, diagnosis and access to care.”

Merck is a leader in oncology, working to translate breakthrough science into innovative oncology medicines to help people with cancer worldwide. Merck continues to demonstrate its commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs, and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases.

Major General Elder Granger, MD

Dr. Granger, also a board member for the CEO Roundtable on Cancer and an ambassador for the Roundtable’s Going for Gold health equity initiative, was honored for his extensive advocacy on behalf of health in general and the CEO Roundtable on Cancer programs specifically. He has an extensive track record of building coalitions to advance health, combat cancer and eliminate health disparities.

“I am humbled, honored, and grateful for this recognition,” said Dr. Granger, President and CEO of the 5Ps, LLC, a health care, education, and leadership consulting organization in Colorado. “Chronic disease is the leading driver of healthcare cost in the United States, with over $3.5 trillion annually. The most effective way to avoid, treat, and mitigate chronic conditions is through proactive preventive services. Going for Gold is a model example of prevention.”

Prior to his retirement from the US Army in 2009, Dr. Granger served as the Deputy Director and Program Executive Officer of the TRICARE Management Activity, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) in Washington, DC. In that role, he was the principal advisor on health plan policy and performance at the Department of Defense.

Dr. Granger oversaw the acquisition, operation, and integration of TRICARE/DOD’s managed care program within the Military Health System, leading a staff of 1,800 in planning, budgeting, and executing a $22.5 Billion Defense Health Program.

Prior to joining TRICARE Management Activity, Dr. Granger led the largest U.S. and multi-national battlefield health system in recent

history while serving as Commander, Task Force 44th Medical Command and Command Surgeon for the Multinational Corps Iraq. He has led at every level of the Army Medical Department, with previous assignments across the United States, Europe, and Iraq.

“For Dr. Granger, it is always about the patient and helping them, not about publicity or benefit to individuals,” Louv said. “His entire life reflects work to serve others, something he has done at the highest levels as well as on a personal basis.”

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