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Thursday, May 01, 2014 - Cowell Family Cancer Center Breaks Ground on May 1


This architectural rendering shows the architect's conception of the completed center.

Cowell Family Cancer Center Breaks Ground on May 1
Munson Medical Center plans ceremony to inaugurate facility construction

A ground-breaking ceremony to officially launch the construction phase of the Cowell Family Cancer Center is planned from 1:30 - 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, at the construction site north of Sixth Street on Munson Medical Center’s campus.

The ceremony marks the culmination of years of planning and fundraising for the center, which is designed to facilitate comprehensive cancer care in one location for the 1,500 people in the area who are newly diagnosed with cancer each year.

The general public is invited to attend the event. Total fundraising for the project also will be announced.

“We are excited to move into the construction phase of this important project to house all of our comprehensive cancer programs under one roof for our patients and their families supporting our strategy of providing high quality care close to home in northern Michigan,” said Al Pilong, president of Munson Medical Center. “The building has been designed with strong input from patients with cancer in our area in creating a healing environment.”

Construction of the $45 million, 86,000-square-foot facility is expected to take nearly two years to complete.

No other diagnosis requires the same level of coordination and timing between multiple specialties as cancer. Besides surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, cancer patients require dietary, psychological and social services, genetics counseling, spiritual guidance, preventive medicine, and other services.

“We anticipate the Cowell Family Cancer Center will help ease the stress that a cancer diagnosis brings by providing our patients with what they need in one location,” said Derk Pronger, vice president of Operations. “The cancer center allows patients to access one convenient location for all of our multi-specialty cancer services. As a one-stop location, the facility will house our medical specialists, counselors, infusion treatment, radiology, integrative therapies and other necessities that go along with the diagnosis.”

Interdisciplinary medical staff efforts related to a care model to be used at the cancer center have already begun at the hospital. Munson physicians are participating in multidisciplinary tumor boards via video conferencing with specialists from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The cancer center also will enhance Munson Medical Center’s ability to recruit the best and brightest physicians and other health professionals to northern Michigan.

Construction equipment will be on location for the ground-breaking ceremony.