St. Charles Cancer Center Opens

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Patients, family members, friends, donors, caregivers and physicians gathered last month to celebrate the grand opening celebration for the new St. Charles Cancer Center.

“We started this journey many years ago to build a comprehensive cancer center where all services are available in one location,” said Dr. Linyee Chang, medical director of the St. Charles Cancer Center. “It is time to celebrate the incredible amount of time, effort and resources that have gone into making this healing facility a reality.”

The $13 million cancer center was designed and developed with input from caregivers and patients. Floor-to-ceiling windows along one wall of the medical oncology room will give chemotherapy and other infusion patients a healing, peaceful view during their treatment. Exam rooms have separate entrances for patients and staff, so that patients have a direct route with little congestion in the hallways. Work areas for physicians, nurses and other patient care support staff are located in an open, central area where the entire team can communicate easily and better coordinate care.

The new Les Schwab Medical Oncology Wing opened to patients July 1, while the John D. Picchetti Radiation Oncology Wing renovation was completed in August.

After two years of fundraising, the St. Charles Foundation exceeded its $5.7 million campaign goal to help fund the construction of an integrated cancer center in Bend. Foundation representatives presented a check to St. Charles Health System’s board chair, Tom Sayeg, at the cancer center grand opening celebration.

“The campaign has received broad community support with more than 480 individuals, several foundations and numerous businesses making donations,” said Lisa Dobey, executive director of St. Charles Foundation. “In addition, we received 100 percent participation by the boards at St. Charles Foundation and St. Charles Health System.”

Les Schwab Tire Centers and the Les Schwab family made a lead gift of $1 million. In recognition of that gift, St. Charles named the Les Schwab Medical Oncology Wing in honor of Margaret Schwab Denton. This gift was followed by $500,000 and $50,000 gifts from the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund. The Foundation also received an unrestricted estate gift and designated a portion of that gift to the campaign, creating the John D. Picchetti Radiation Oncology Wing.

“We were all in this together,” said Todd Taylor, co-chair of the fundraising campaign. “Whether you gave $25, $250 or $25,000, every single dollar contributed to our common goal.”

Designed as a full-service facility, services at the cancer center ranges from screening, diagnosis and treatment (including radiation and chemotherapy) to follow-up care and survivor services. St. Charles’ cancer services continue to be a leader in health care in outcomes and survival rates for people with cancer.

St. Charles Foundation will continue to seek donations to build a Patient Care Endowment to provide programs and services such as massage, Reiki, acupuncture and nutrition counseling. Practical support including gas cards, food vouchers and scholarships for child care would also be funded.

“This new center is an investment in treating and caring for our patients,” said Chang, co-chair of the campaign. “This is a wonderful day for our community and for our patients who rely on the world-class cancer care we provide.”

The total cost of the integrated cancer center is $12.9 million, and is being funded by a combination of private philanthropy, St. Charles’ capital funds and debt financing.

“We are extremely proud of this new cancer center but we always remember that buildings are merely concrete, glass and rebar,” Dobey said. “It takes the best caregivers and programs to bring the building to life.”

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