Cowell Family Cancer Center
Munson Medical Center broke ground in May 2014 on a new cancer center that will bring all cancer diagnostic and treatment services under one roof for better coordination of care and patient convenience. The Cowell Family Cancer Center, named for lead donor Casey Cowell and his family, will be northern Michigan's most comprehensive resource for diagnosis and treatment of cancer and related disorders. The cancer center will include the most advanced treatment options, including stereotactic radiosurgery. The cancer center is an integral part of a regional plan for cancer services. Patients will leave the cancer center with a multidisciplinary, coordinated treatment plan and may receive some of their services as close to home as possible at infusion clinics in communities throughout northern Michigan.
Cowell Family Cancer Center Technology
We our committed to providing our cancer patients the best care and latest technology. The new Cancer Center will include stereotactic radiosurgery with the Varian TrueBeam™ medical linear accelerator, which is used for inoperable and difficult to reach tumors. In addition, we plan to invest in two new linear accelerators—which the majority of patients will utilize for radiation therapy.
An electronic patient record system will provide the linkage for smooth coordination of care, greater communication between all care providers, and provide an overall improved patient experience. The specialized computer technology combines imaging; radiation, medical and surgical oncology; and billing into one complete patient record which will manage the patient’s entire journey – from initial diagnosis through post-treatment follow up.
The cost of two new linear accelerators and the oncology information system is $6.7 Million.
Expanding Cancer Research
For the past 30 years Munson Medical Center’s cancer research program has been a part of the Grand Rapids Clinical Oncology Program (GRCOP). This program allows Munson physicians to offer patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials and receive treatment outlined within GRCOP research studies. Clinical trials can offer new treatments for patients who have exhausted all conventional options. They can also provide new information about a patient’s particular case that may open the door to new treatments. Some patients choose to participate because they know they could be a part of advancing the treatment of cancer.
Over the past five years there has been a dramatic decline in funding for such initiatives and the GRCOP has offered fewer trials for patient participation. However, Munson remains committed to bringing new breakthroughs from the lab to our patients in northern Michigan. Through a partnership with The University of Michigan, we are adding clinical trials in several areas. Expanding the current research program at Munson will cost $800,000 over the next three years.
Mammography Assistance Fund
One in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life. When breast cancer is found early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent; when found in a more advanced stage, the five -year survival rate drops to 23 percent. The Mammography Assistance Fund helps pay for mammograms for patients who do not have insurance or the ability to pay for these important screenings. The average cost per exam is about $70. In 2013, we helped 395 women pay for their mammograms. Every year the need for assistance continues to grow.
Women’s Cancer Fund
The Women’s Cancer Fund is dedicated to helping women diagnosed with cancer who live in the communities served by Munson Medical Center. The fund is used to provide financial assistance for supportive care when other means have been exhausted. Care includes such things as transportation, childcare, and utilities during treatment, as well as prosthetics. The Women’s Cancer Fund is not intended to provide funding for specific treatments.
The average need is about $600 per person. We depend on community and volunteer support through events, programs, and private donations. The fund needs $55,000 - $60,000 annually to meet the demand.
Cancer Patient Needs Fund
The Cancer Patient Needs Fund is dedicated to helping cancer patients in need who live in the communities served by Munson Medical Center. The fund provides financial assistance for supportive care when other means have been exhausted. Supportive care includes, but is not limited to, such things as transportation, childcare, and utilities during treatment, as well as prosthetics. The Cancer Patient Needs Fund is not intended to provide funding for specific treatments.
The Cancer Patient Needs Fund is made possible through community support, special events/fundraising events, as well as private donations and volunteer funding efforts.