SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Huntsman Cancer Foundation (HCF) announced that several individuals and business organizations have committed a total of $40 million to support a proposed major building expansion of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U). The announcement of these historic gifts was made by Peter Huntsman, HCF Chairman and CEO, at HCF's annual gala held this evening at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.
The lead donors to the project include Spencer and Kristen Kirk in honor of Kathryn F. Kirk, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Humanitarian Aid Fund and doTERRA International.
"This expansion was my father's vision and something he worked on prior to his death. He was always looking forward to plan what was needed next to help people with cancer," said Huntsman. "Our family is honored to continue to carry his and my mother's vision forward to ease the suffering caused by cancer. We are immensely grateful and humbled by the generous support of the donors who have helped realize my father's dream to eradicate cancer from the face of the earth."
The funding will support a proposal to significantly expand the Cancer Hospital at HCI, part of the University of Utah Health system. The proposed addition would extend from the north end of HCI's existing buildings on the campus of the U of U in Salt Lake City. The expansion will be called, The Kathryn F. Kirk Center for Comprehensive Cancer Care and Women's Cancers at Huntsman Cancer Institute, and add an additional 100,000 square feet to HCI's cancer campus, including up to 50 additional inpatient rooms and workspace for oncology specialists. The new proposed structure would also expand the number of procedure, consultation and outpatient exam rooms and would increase the size of the HCI's Linda B. and Robert B. Wiggins Wellness and Integrative Health Center.
"This expansion reflects HCI's continuing commitment to serve cancer patients and to provide access to the compassionate, state-of-the-art care of our comprehensive cancer center," said HCI's CEO, Mary Beckerle, PhD. "Growth of our facilities is critical to allow us to reach the patients and families in need of our services. We are extremely fortunate to have the passionate support of so many generous donors for our lifesaving work."
The plan for the remaining project funds of the estimated $80 million project will be finalized in the coming months. The next step is a review of the proposal by appropriate approval bodies, including the U of U Board of Trustees, the Utah State Legislature and key U of U building oversight committees. The proposed project timeline estimates construction would begin in December 2019, with an opening planned for fall 2022.
About Huntsman Cancer Foundation
Huntsman Cancer Foundation's sole purpose is to support the mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah. HCI is the official cancer center of Utah. The cancer campus includes a state-of-the-art cancer specialty hospital as well as two buildings dedicated to cancer research. HCI treats patients with all forms of cancer and is recognized among the best cancer hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. As the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West, HCI serves the largest geographic region in the country, drawing patients from Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, and beyond. HCI scientists have identified more genes for inherited cancers than any other center in the world, including genes responsible for breast, ovarian, colon, head, and neck cancers, along with melanoma. HCI manages the Utah Population Database, the largest genetic database in the world, with information on more than 11 million people linked to genealogies, health records and vital statistics. The institute was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.
Huntsman Cancer Institute
SOURCE Huntsman Cancer Foundation