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Building Hope Campaign Helps Fund New Cancer Center

April 16, 2015 11:51 a.m.

While ground was broken on Wednesday for a new Regional Cancer Center on the Sarah Bush Lincoln campus, community members are already “Building Hope” by helping to fund this $15.8 million project.

The Building Hope capital campaign has already garnered nearly $2 million of the $3.5 million goal.

The freestanding Regional Cancer Center, which will be built on the front lawn of the Sarah Bush Lincoln campus, will span 21,000 square feet and will feature 17 individual chemotherapy areas where people can receive their care in a comfortable space that allows companionship during treatment. The cost of the project includes a new $4 million linear accelerator used to deliver powerful radiation directly and precisely to tumors; and an underground pneumatic tube transport system to quickly send specimens to the hospital laboratory and critical supplies to the cancer center at a cost of $1.1 million. The exterior will feature a drive-up canopied entrance and a healing garden, which can be enjoyed from inside the infusion bays or by sitting among the landscaped areas. Construction is expected to take 18 months.

Building Hope Campaign Co-Chairs, Medical Oncologist Abdur Shakir, MD, and Kuppuswamy Jagarlamudi, MD, are excited to be leading this project that will directly affect their patients. Twenty-three other community members who have been touched in some way by cancer, and believe in making the best in cancer care available in the community, have joined the Building Hope committee.

Dr. Shakir said, “This campaign isn’t just about a building or a spacious facility, but it’s about creating a comforting experience for people who are going through what is often the scariest times of their lives.”

Dr. Jagarlamudi echoed his words and added, “While we are a bit cramped now in terms of space, our cancer team delivers optimal care everyday, making everyone feel as though they are a part of a larger family that really cares for them and about them. This new facility will be amazing and we are all anxious for it to be completed.”

One of the largest donations in the Building Hope campaign came from long-time philanthropist Richard Lumpkin, who gave $1 million in honor of former SBL Medical Oncologist Edward C. Hoppin, MD. Dr. Hoppin was the sole medical oncologist in the Regional Cancer Center from 1991 until 2008 and set the gold standard of care that is synonymous with the cancer center. Other gifts include those made in honor of loved ones, including Glennie Hamel.

Other Building Hope campaign committee members include: Ann Beck, Ph.D. Charleston; Joe Dively, Charleston; Greg Ervin, Toledo; Carol Jo Fritts, Toledo; Joshua Garrett, MD, Charleston; Barb Hall, Toledo; Bill Hill, Ph. D., Charleston; Steve Honselman, Casey; Barbara Hoppin, Mattoon; Edward C. Hoppin, MD, Mattoon; Matthew Jones, MD, Charleston; Philip Kepp, DDS, Mattoon; Richard Lumpkin, Mattoon; Joyce Madigan, Charleston; Tracey McCord, Oblong; Tess Melvin, Sullivan; Carol Myerscough, Charleston; Jill Nilsen, Ph.D., Charleston; Bernie Ranchero, MD, Charleston; Nancy Schilling, Mattoon; Selma Sweeney, Humboldt; Robert Wochner, MD, Charleston; and Jim Zimmer, Mattoon.

Sarah Bush Lincoln Foundation Director Amy Card said, “Much like the 1980s when area residents rallied around a capital campaign to build the first Regional Cancer Center, we once again look to the community for support for this very important project. Supporting the Building Hope campaign is a wonderful way to honor a loved one, by making a gift in his or her honor. We’re grateful for those who have made gifts thus far.”

For more information and to learn how to be a part of Building Hope, please contact Amy Card, 258-4177.

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