Edith Peterson Mitchell, M.D. is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology and is Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine and Medical Oncology, Program Leader, Gastrointestinal Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Associate Director for Diversity Programs for the Kimmel Cancer Center(KCC) at Jefferson, and Director of the KCC Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities.
Dr. Mitchell has spent her medical career helping individuals in medically underserved areas to realize that simple changes in lifestyle can have a dramatic impact on cancer care. Through her work, Dr. Mitchell has demonstrated the importance of community service and outreach especially to those individuals who may not have the means to seek out more conventional medical advice.
Dr. Mitchell received a bachelor of science in Biochemistry “With distinction” from Tennessee State University and her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. In 1973, while attending medical school, Dr. Mitchell entered the Air Force and received a commission through the Health Professions Scholarship Program. She entered active duty after completion of her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Meharry Medical College and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at Georgetown University.
Dr. Mitchell’s research in breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers and other GI malignancies involves new drug evaluation and chemotherapy, development of new therapeutic regimens, chemoradiation strategies for combined modality therapy, patient selection criteria and supportive care for patients with gastrointestinal cancer. She travels nationally and internationally teaching and lecturing on the treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies. Dr. Mitchell has authored and co-authored more than 100 articles, book chapters, and abstracts on cancer treatment, prevention, and cancer control. As a distinguished researcher, she has received many Cancer Research and Principal Investigator Awards including a recent Promise Grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She serves on the National Cancer Institute Review Panel and the Cancer Investigations Review Committee.
Dr. Mitchell holds leadership positions in the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the National Medical Association, and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the National Medical Association.
In addition to her medical achievements, Dr. Mitchell is a retired Brigadier General, having served as the Air National Guard Assistant to the Command Surgeon for US Transportation command and headquarters Air Mobility Command (AMC) based at the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, and was the first female physician promoted to this rank in the history of the U.S. Air Force. In this capacity she served as the senior medical Air National Guard advisor to the command surgeon and was the medical liaison between the active Air Force and the Air National Guard. Her responsibilities in this role included ensuring maximum wartime readiness and combat support capability of the worldwide patient movement and aero medical evacuation system, the Global Patient Movement Requirements Center and AMC’s 52 Air National Guard medical squadrons.
Among her many honors, Dr. Mitchell has received The ‘Tree of Life’ Award which recognizes health professionals who are committed to making a difference in community health. Recipients of this coveted award have made extraordinary contributions to health management in both the local and global community. Dr. Mitchell was awarded the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Control Award for her significant commitment to research, education, and diversity and Research Award by the Council of Women Physicians of The National Medical Association. In 2010 she was selected for the National Cancer Care Physician of the Year Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution of time and talent. Other awards for Dr. Mitchell include the 2009 Looking Glass Award presented by the Living With Cancer Foundation and the Women in Medicine Research Award from the National Medical Association. She was selected as the 2011 Practitioner of the Year Award by the Philadelphia County Medical Society and was recently selected for The American Society of Clinical Oncology Humanitarian Award for 2012 .
General Mitchell has been awarded over 15 military service medals and ribbons including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Achievement and Commendation Medals, National Defense Service Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal. Dr. Mitchell was selected for inclusion in America’s Top Oncologists. Dr. Mitchell is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians; member of our Society; also the American Medical Association, the National Medical Association, Aerospace Medical Association, Association of Military Surgeons, the Medical Society of Eastern Pennsylvania, the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project.
On a personal note, Dr. Mitchell enjoys gardening, quilting, and listening to jazz and rock music while spending time with her family. She and husband Delmar, have been married forty-two years and have two daughters, Dale and DeAnna, and a granddaughter Gabriella.