A Cancer Center Gift
Uvalde Leader News-Editorial Board
Uvalde has a unique opportunity to advance its position as a regional medical center with the location adjacent to Uvalde Memorial Hospital of an 8,000 square-foot cancer care center offering radiation therapy and 12,000 square feet of additional medical office facilities for ancillary services including cardiology. The $5-million project would benefit not only Uvalde but the entire region.
Former Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe and his family have taken the dream of the center a giant step closer to reality with a challenge grant of $1.2 million to the Saving Lives Close to Home capital campaign, bringing the total raised for the center so far to $2.4 million.
The region that would be served includes Uvalde, Dimmit, Edwards, Kinney, Maverick, Medina, Real, Val Verde and Zavala counties. Residents would greatly benefit from the new facility. Uvalde Memorial Hospital in 2006 through 2007 alone documented 1,853 cancer patient visits. As Uvalde Memorial Hospital administrator and CEO Jim Buckner said, “Cancer touches every family at some point or another.”
Many patients need radiation therapy, and the nearest available facility for that treatment is in San Antonio.
Radiation therapy typically is administered daily over a period of several weeks, and that means a daily trip for each patient.
Patients from the region travel between 40 and 154 miles, one way, for each treatment. Everyone in the counties that would be served would benefit from decreased travel distances if the center were in Uvalde, with people from Val Verde and Maverick counties saving over 150 miles, more than two hours, each trip.
Patients from Uvalde will save four hours. That’s four hours a day for people who are fighting, literally, for their lives.
We feel that those of us living in the region to be served should rise to the challenge of the Briscoe family and make whatever donation we can afford to fund this center.