GREENFIELD — Local, comprehensive cancer care is on its way to becoming a realty for Hancock County residents.
Hancock Regional Cancer Center is expected to open in late May, and the hospital’s foundation has raised more than $1 million for its Cancer Care Campaign to support the construction, equipment and ongoing operations of the new center.
It’s momentous for the hospital foundation, which is working to raise funds for the cancer center’s current and future needs, said Nancy Davis, executive director of the foundation.
The community’s positive reaction to the campaign shows how the value residents place in having a cancer center locally, she said.
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“I think we knew people would support comprehensive cancer care in this community,” she said. “At the speed and level they’re supporting, it is overwhelming … in a good way.”
Since the campaign kicked off in September, dozens of individuals and businesses have pledged their support, with Greenfield Banking Company committing one of the campaign’s largest gifts at $250,000.
Hancock County residents Michael and Susie Broome have pledged $250,000, and Walter Worland, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment at Hancock Regional, gave $100,000.
As a patient undergoing cancer treatment, Worland sees how important the new space and equipment will be for residents facing the disease.
“Bringing back radiation therapy so that people don’t have to travel outside of the county for their treatment will make a big difference for cancer patients and their families,” he said.
Work for the new cancer center began last year after IU Health moved its linear accelerator used for radiation therapy out of the county, forcing patients to travel for treatment.
To fill the void, the hospital began offering treatment in temporary quarters in the hospital’s basement.
It gets the job done, Davis said, but patients fighting to survive deserve to be more comfortable and to have everything they need close to home.
Th new center will offer nurse navigators, oncology surgeons; dietary services; a social worker; physical therapy and a wellness center; financial counseling, boutique services; a CT scanner; a linear accelerator and chemotherapy in a beautiful facility, officials say.
“We have great nurses, physicians and caregivers,” Davis said. “We just don’t have the facility our patients deserve right now.”
Financial support from the community is critical to the success of the center because comprehensive cancer care in a community this size won’t fund itself, officials say.
New hospital CEO Steve Long said he’s overwhelmed by how generous the community has been so far.
“It’s just enormous what the community does for us, and I feel we’re blessed to be here,” he said.
Hospital officials say financial support from the community is vital for the new cancer center. Donations can be made to a fund for the center’s current needs or an endowment.
Naming opportunities are available to individuals or businesses that donate $25,000 or more.
To give a gift, visit www.hancockregionalhospital.org/foundation or call 317-468-4106 to make a donation over the phone.
Checks can be mailed to the HRH Foundation at 801 N. State St., Greenfield, IN, 46140.