Jan. 6, 2017, ASTORIA, Ore. – Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation’s biggest ever fundraising campaign has raised $3 million to support the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Center.
“Campaigns like this strengthen communities by bringing focus and unity to a shared vision. We are building a stronger hospital system that will serve patients for the next century,” said Columbia Memorial Hospital President and CEO Erik Thorsen.
The campaign was launched in May 2015 with an announcement of a collaboration by Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) and the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to build a new comprehensive cancer treatment center and specialty clinic in Astoria.
The campaign leadership included Erik Thorsen, Mike Autio, Jeffrey Leinassar and was chaired by Willis Van Dusen. Over 700 donors (including CMH board members, leadership, physicians and caregivers) contributed to the effort, with many giving five- and six-figure gifts to lead the way toward providing state-of-the-art cancer care to those living in the Lower Columbia Region.
Major contributors include Dr. William and Deborah Armington, the Autio Family, Karen and Steve Allen, the City of Astoria, the CMH Auxiliary, the Englund Family, William Greer, Katherine E. Helberg, the Henningsgaard Family, The Samuel S. Johnson Foundation, the Leinassar Family, the Lum Family, the M.J. Murdock Trust, the Nygaard Family, the Oregon Community Foundation, Dr. Sonny and Mary Park, Phillips Family Trust, the Eloise & Carl Pohlad Family, Margaret Rubidoux, the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation/Jordan Schnitzer, Paula and Shawn Teevin, the Van Dusen Family, and Constance Waisanen.
“We hope our supporters feel great pride in what they have partnered with us to achieve. We are so grateful to everyone whose generosity and investment is helping bring such excellent cancer care to those who need it,” said Penny Cowden, executive director of the CMH Foundation.
The new cancer center will make the latest in medical and radiation treatment available locally to patients fighting cancer. The CMH/OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative will expand CMH’s existing chemotherapy treatment services by bringing much-needed radiation therapy services to the North Coast.
Presently, cancer patients who require radiation therapy must travel at least an hour to receive treatment. Since radiation therapy is generally administered for five consecutive days and can continue for eight weeks, this grueling regime of travel and treatment is very difficult for patients, not to mention their families. Because of this, some patients choose to opt out of radiation treatment—a life-threatening choice.
Through the CMH/OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative, construction on a new 18,000-square-foot facility is underway on the CMH campus. The facility will include chemotherapy and radiation treatment and is expected to begin serving cancer patients starting in the fall of 2017.