Iris V. Henderson Cancer Center Rededication

Iris V. Henderson was an advocate for health care in West Philadelphia. This ceremony serves as the re-dedication memory of her life`s work.

Iris V. Henderson was an advocate for healthcare in West Philadelphia. This ceremony serves as the rededication memory of her life`s work. As a tribute to Iris, Mercy Philadelphia Hospital is home of the Iris V. Henderson Cancer Center which offers holistic, comprehensive cancer care.

Iris V. Henderson was an advocate for healthcare in West Philadelphia. A member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Pennsylvania Chapter, a community leader and devotee, she was an extraordinary woman who could make things happen.

As a community activist, Iris touched many lives in the West Philadelphia community and beyond. Always willing to speak her mind, she encouraged her neighbors to do the same. She applauded achievement and denounced injustice while continuously promoting human dignity.

Access to quality healthcare was Iris’s number one priority. She became an ally of the Sisters of Mercy and worked with them to make Misericordia Hospital, now known as Mercy Philadelphia Hospital (MPH), the best it could be as a quality healthcare service provider in West Philadelphia. Her goal was to ensure that adequate healthcare resources were available to the West Philadelphia community.

Of particular concern for Iris was fighting West Philadelphia’s high cancer death rate. She advocated tirelessly to obtain the funding necessary to bring the most advanced cancer treatment equipment to Misericordia Hospital. Sadly, it was cancer that claimed Iris’s life in 1990, just months short of the announcement that Misericordia would receive a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that would bring to fruition, Iris' vision for a dedicated cancer center at Misericordia Hospital.

The Iris V. Henderson Cancer Center is a tribute to the hope and vision that Iris had for West Philadelphia and Misericordia Hospital. We rededicate it in her name, together with the community, businesses, clergy, government and friends in partnership, the way Iris would have wanted it.