High Desert Arts League aids new cancer center

BEND, Ore. - St. Charles Medical Center has long recognized the positive effect of art on the healing process, so it is no surprise that the new St. Charles Cancer Center in Bend will integrate art into all areas of the building.

It is also not a surprise that the High Desert Art League, a long-time participant in the hospital's art exhibitions, has stepped up to support the project.  Each of the High Desert Art League's 12 members has generously donated works of their art to the Cancer Center's permanent collection.

"It is our way of contributing to the community, and supporting the healing process of patients in the center," said Vivian Olsen, the Art League's president.

"We have had a tremendous amount of support from St. Charles and the community," she added, "we just want to say thank you."

"This new center has a commitment to supporting the "whole person needs" of cancer patients and their families in Central and Eastern Oregon. We desire to not only provide innovative high quality care but we also want to meet the emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of our patients. A critical aspect of creating this environment is the exhibition of art," stated Allison McCormick, Sr. Director of St Charles Cancer Center/Research. 

"Artwork can help reduce stress and provide a needed escape from the challenges of cancer treatment," she continued. 

The Cancer Center is partnering with local artists to obtain permanent works as well as commissioning rotating art exhibits from community artists.  

"The High Desert Art League has contributed significantly in our efforts to obtain art.  These works will be prominently displayed throughout the building for patients and caregivers to enjoy.  I want to thank HDAL for their generous donation and support of our patients throughout their cancer journeys," added McCormick.

The $12.9 million cancer center, slated for completion next summer, will combine St. Charles' services into one efficient footprint. Designed from the ground up with patient, family, staff and community input, the new building is designed for maximum collaboration and efficiency.

An Artist's Reception and Opening will be held August 14 to celebrate the opening of the new St. Charles Cancer Center and to honor the participating artists.

For additional information on the St. Charles Cancer center, opening event and reception schedules visit To learn more about the high Desert Art League visit

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