Meet Neri Cohen

Meet Neri Cohen, M.D., grandfather, long-time Ulman supporter & board member.
What is your connection to the cancer community?
I am a thoracic surgeon and over the past fifteen years, I’ve been essentially a cancer surgeon. I’m the head of thoracic surgery at GBMC and we see a lot of cancer patients. I also am a cancer survivor myself and I have helped my father and other family members through their journey with cancer as well.
What surprised you the most about being a part of the Ulman community?
Nothing really surprised me. In full disclosure, Diana Ulman and I are distant cousins so I’ve known about the organization for as long as I can remember. It’s just taken me awhile to become more active at the board and leadership level. I am amazed at how strong and deep and resourceful the Ulman community is, especially because they are targeting a segment of the population that really does not have a whole lot of other resources. For young adults with cancer, there are not that many opportunities or resources which is disappointing because their journey is just as complicated, if not more so, than other patients with cancer.
Which Ulman value resonates the most with you? (Be Human, Be Better, Be Courageous, Be Committed)
I think they all resonate but I think that being human—empathy, human touch, understanding, being hopeful—resonates with me the most.
What led you to your current job?  What were you doing before you came here?
I recently transitioned into a full-time role in digital health here at GBMC so I’ve been spending the lion’s share of my time not working with patients directly but rather working with the entire organization to improve our digital platforms. What brought me to this job is that I’ve been working in this space for thirty years and they keep asking me to do more and more and eventually it became a full-time job and I took advantage of the opportunity as a segue to the next part of my career.
What would you say most motivates you to do what you do?  
I like taking care of people and helping people.
What are you most excited or passionate about?
In general, identifying problems and solving them.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my 11-month-old grandson. One of the things that’s most spectacular about being a grandfather is watching my daughter as an adult parent and knowing that I did something right and she’s just an awesome parent.
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
The Sender. It’s a story based loosely on Chuck Pagano, the Colts coach that developed lymphoma. The book is about letters written by a coach about his cancer journey.
At a movie: Candy or popcorn?
Candy all the way! It’s not good for me, but that’s what I prefer.
Have you met the rest of our team?
Meet Our Team


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