Charitable trust, Simmons Center to host Joanie Hatcher Memorial Symposium

By Amanda Billings

Jim Hatcher and Karen Borta
Jim Hatcher helped organize the Joanie Hatcher Memorial Survivor Symposium at UT Southwestern, a cancer survivors’ event named in honor of his late wife. CBS-11 anchor Karen Borta will serve as emcee at the symposium.

Their life began as a fairy tale. She was head cheerleader; he was captain of the football team. High school sweethearts Jim and Joanie Hatcher were married in November 1961, just six months after graduation. They were happily married for almost 35 years before breast cancer claimed Joanie’s life in August 1996.

Throughout her battle, Mrs. Hatcher wanted to help others affected by breast cancer. Through the Jim & Joanie Hatcher Charitable Trust, Mr. Hatcher has carried out his wife’s wishes by generously supporting breast cancer care and survivorship. Among his gifts is $75,000 to UT Southwestern Medical Center.

On Aug. 24, the Jim & Joanie Hatcher Charitable Trust – in partnership with UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center – will sponsor the Joanie Hatcher Memorial Survivor Symposium on the UT Southwestern campus. The event, titled “The Doctor Is In,” will bring together survivors, researchers, clinicians, and therapists to provide an opportunity for interactive discussions on health and wellness topics of particular interest to breast cancer survivors.

Led by CBS-11 anchor Karen Borta, the symposium will kick off with a brunch reception at 10 a.m., followed by an 11 a.m. program that will include a presentation by Dr. David Euhus, Director of the Mary L. Brown Breast Cancer Genetics and Risk Assessment Program.

Following the presentation, a panel of UT Southwestern experts will answer breast cancer survivors’ questions. Panelists include Linda Robinson, certified genetics counselor; Dr. Barbara Haley, Professor of Internal Medicine; Dr. Marilyn Leitch, Professor of Surgical Oncology; Dr. Roshni Rao, Associate Professor of Surgery; Dr. Sumeet Teotia, Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery; Dr. Kim Barker, Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Beth Daniels, occupational therapist, lymphedema therapy; and Dr. Jeff Kendall, Associate Professor of Psychology.

The symposium also will include opportunities for photos by Marc Robins Photography, a hat contest, pink purse giveaways, and special recognition of inspirational survivors.

The event, free to any breast cancer survivor, will be held in the Tom and Lula Gooch Auditorium at 5323 Harry Hines Blvd. Seating is limited, and registration is required. To register, go to


Dr. Euhus holds the Marilyn R. Corrigan Distinguished Chair in Breast Cancer Surgery.

Dr. Haley holds the Charles Cameron Sprague, M.D., Chair in Clinical Oncology.

Dr. Leitch holds the S.T. Harris Family Distinguished Chair in Breast Surgery.