PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling the project the "next step
in the battle to treat and prevent cancer," Fox Chase Cancer Center leaders
today presented a 20-year, $1-billion expansion plan to the Fairmount Park
Commission that calls for the building of a new hospital, a new outpatient
treatment center and critically needed new research facilities.
The expansion proposal, which will bring 4,000 permanent new jobs to
Philadelphia, seeks Commission approval for the utilization of 25 acres in
Burholme Park, almost 80 percent of which already is being used for commercial
"Cancer is primarily a disease of the aging, and as our population grows
older, demand for treatment will continue to rise dramatically," explained
Robert C. Young, M.D., president of Fox Chase. "The demand for cancer care
will explode in the next decade, and this development plan is the next step in
the battle to treat and prevent cancer. Fox Chase is already operating at
overcapacity and we need to grow. Our goal is to grow on our current campus
right here in Philadelphia."
Fox Chase was founded 100 years ago with the opening of the nation's first
cancer hospital in West Philadelphia. It moved to its current location in
1968. The 100-bed hospital remains one of the few facilities in the country
devoted entirely to cancer care. Today, Fox Chase sees more than 6,500 new
patients a year - a number that is expected to double by 2015.
The plan to expand at its current location followed a two-year visioning
process that examined how to accommodate the growing need for patient care
with cutting-edge treatments while also continuing to conduct the best
scientific research in an environment of rapidly advancing technologies.
"We considered expanding by acquiring property in various parts of the
region, but splintering our patient care operations and research is not
consistent with what a 'comprehensive cancer center' is," stated Dr.
Young. "The interaction between scientists and physicians is key to the rapid
translation of laboratory discoveries for patient care."
The Fox Chase growth plan seeks the use of 20 acres in Burholme Park,
currently being leased for commercial purposes, plus an additional five acres.
Fox Chase proposes moving the commercial tract of land closer to its campus
after the lease with the current tenant expires. Fox Chase would redevelop
the former commercial footprint for recreational park uses, and the Center
also would fund the purchase of an additional 25 acres of land at a site to be
chosen by the Commission, so that there is no net loss of Park land.
The Fox Chase expansion plan does not involve the ballparks, sledding hill
or Ryers Museum.
"In fact, our proposal includes a plan to help the Fairmount Park
Commission with the upkeep of the ballparks, recreational areas and the
museum," said Dr. Young. "We want this proposal to be a win-win-win for the
community, Fox Chase, and the Fairmount Park Commission and City."
Philadelphia City Commerce Director Stephanie Naidoff indicated that the
Street Administration supports the plan. "It is very important to
Philadelphia and the residents not only of the city but also the region that
we help Fox Chase grow at its current campus, so that it can continue to be a
world leader in the fight against cancer," Naidoff said. "Of course, we must
still come to agreement on the terms of this transaction, and we look forward
to working with all of the parties to get there."
Fox Chase has more than 2,300 employees, a third of which live in the
immediate area. The proposed expansion plan will double the size of the
Center and add more than 4,000 new jobs.
"We estimate that over the next five to seven years, the city will see an
additional $40 million in wage taxes," said Dr. Young.
Fox Chase receives more than $53 million a year in federal funding and
grants. The awarding of the 2004 Nobel Prize in chemistry last week to a
long-time Fox Chase researcher, Irwin Rose, underscores the high-quality
research conducted at the institution. This is the second Nobel Prize
received by Fox Chase scientists.
The presentation to the Park Commission is the first step in a process
that also involves the City of Philadelphia and the communities surrounding
Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Fox Chase Cancer Center was founded in 1904 in Philadelphia, Pa. as the
nation's first cancer hospital. In 1974, Fox Chase became one of the first
institutions designated as a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer
Center. Fox Chase conducts basic, clinical, population and translational
research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and
community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit
the Center's web site at http://www.fccc.edu or call 1-888-FOX CHASE.
Contact: Karen Carter Mallet
SOURCE Fox Chase Cancer Center