BEND, Ore. - Private citizens, local businesses and charitable foundations have pledged more than $4.1 million to support the construction of a new, integrated cancer center on the St. Charles Bend campus, the organization reported Tuesday.
"Thanks to these many generous donations, we are at a little more than 70 percent of our goal," said Lisa Dobey, executive director of the St. Charles Foundation. "We are now moving into a more public phase of the campaign, and are looking to every person in our service region to support this important project."
The foundation is raising $5.7 million out of the total $13 million project. These funds will go toward the cancer center construction, which is scheduled for completion this summer, and to support the cancer nurse navigator program.
"We know from national statistics that one in two people will be diagnosed with some sort of cancer in their lifetimes," said Dr. Linyee Chang, medical director of the St. Charles Cancer Center. "Cancer is a problem that belongs to everyone. It affects us all and touches all of our lives."
The new cancer center was designed with input from patients, family members and staff to promote a patient-centric approach to treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments will be available in the same building – rather than a half-mile away from each other as they are now – along with support services, integrative therapies and much more.
Ann Farry, a cancer survivor, said she made a $250,000 gift to the campaign because she knows first-hand how difficult it can be on patients when services are located in different places. While hospitalized at St. Charles Bend during her treatment for chronic leukemia, Farry had to be taken by ambulance to the St. Charles Medical Oncology clinic a few blocks away for her chemotherapy.
"When all of the services are in one place, you won't have to do that anymore," Farry said.
St. Charles Foundation thanks Farry and others including Les Schwab Tire Centers and the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Foundation for their generous contributions to the project. Les Schwab and the Schwab family gave a $1 million gift in honor of Schwab's daughter Margaret Schwab Denton, while the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Foundation donated $500,000.
About St. Charles Foundation
As the philanthropic arm of St. Charles Health System, the Foundation works to support and improve health care in Central and Eastern Oregon. Private donations raised by the Foundation allow St. Charles to build new medical facilities, purchase state-of-the-art medical equipment, keep pace with the latest technological advances and deliver exceptional patient care in a healing environment. The Foundation does more than just raise money for bricks and mortar. The organization also raises money to support many programs that benefit low-income and uninsured patients.