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Nov 16, 12:12 AM EST

Actor Patrick Dempsey honored in home state of Maine for his work on cancer care

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Maine-born actor Patrick Dempsey returned home to accept an award for his work helping cancer patients.

Dempsey - most famous for his role as Dr. Derek Shepherd in the TV series "Grey's Anatomy" - and the Jackson Laboratory were awarded the Maine Creative Industries Award on Saturday in Portland.

Forty-eight-year-old Dempsey was inspired by his mother's battle with ovarian cancer to help found the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. His mother, Amanda Dempsey, died in March. The Jackson Lab is a genetics research facility in Bar Harbor.

The award is given by the nonprofit Maine Center for Creativity, which said both recipients were honored for their "visionary thinking and persistence in helping cancer patients" in the state.

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