Law Firm's Pledge to Help Cancer Patients Comes to Life as Simmons Cancer Institute Opens Doors

Cancer Center at Southern Illinois University Backed by $10 million from St. Louis-Area Law Firm Opens July 1

Jun 30, 2010, 14:29 ET from Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC

ST. LOUIS, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine will begin seeing patients Thursday, July 1, in its new building, a state-of-the art treatment and research facility located on SIU's campus in Springfield, Illinois.  Dedicated in June 2008, the Simmons law firm funded the institute with a $10.2 million donation, comprised of annual gifts and a multi-year pledge, to support ongoing cancer research.

"The Simmons Cancer Institute's new building has been a vision 10 years in the making," said John Simmons, founding partner of the St. Louis area law firm.  "As a firm who works with patients and families affected by asbestos-related cancers like mesothelioma on a daily basis, we couldn't be any prouder to see this facility open."

The Simmons Cancer Institute's physician specialists have approximately 1,750 patient visits each month.  This move will place nearly all of the school's cancer care professionals, research facilities and support programs under one roof, allowing patients unprecedented access to cutting-edge research and medical options in one, central location.

At the facility, patients have access to a chemotherapy infusion center, nearly three dozen exam rooms, minor procedure facilities and a cancer center for women with X-ray, mammography and ultrasound services.

"The philanthropic commitment made to the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU by the Simmons law firm in 2005 has been a cornerstone of our research funding.  It provides SIU researchers with the tools they need to develop future treatments and gives patients and cancer survivors hope," said Dr. K Thomas Robbins, SCI director.

The facility's 70 clinicians and researchers employ a comprehensive approach in the fight against cancer by focusing on three areas: educating the general public, forwarding cancer research and providing patient support services.  They have been awarded more than $16 million in national multiyear grant funding in addition to the Simmons firm's initial donation.

Simmons said the decision to support the institute was an easy one.  "The firm's clients are patients and families who are grappling with one of the most devastating cancers known to man," he said.  "We've seen what cancer does to families firsthand, and we're committed to making a difference.  Supporting the institute was a decision applauded by our entire Simmons family."

Simmons started the law firm in 1999 with an emphasis on helping victims of mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.  In just more than 10 years the firm has made a name for itself, successfully representing thousands of families throughout the country.

"No matter where the family is, we go to them," Simmons said.  "Like the Simmons Cancer Institute, our focus from day one has been to give families the focus and attention they deserve."

About Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC

The Simmons firm is a leading national law firm in the fight against mesothelioma.  With offices in Illinois and California, the firm has represented thousands of patients and families affected by mesothelioma from all across the country.  The Simmons firm is passionate about improving the lives of victims of mesothelioma and asbestos-related illnesses and has pledged over $15 million to cancer research.  The firm also has practice areas in intellectual property, pharmaceutical litigation and business litigation.

SOURCE Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC