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Cancer center effort passes $5 million goal

Spring start is plan for Kate Marmion Regional Cancer Medical Center

Cancer center effort passes $5 million goal

Hospital board president William Kessler Jr., campaign committee co-chairmen Dr. John Shudde (second from left), Roger Berry (second from right), and administrator Jim Buckner display poster illustrating that the $5-million has been met

Uvalde Memorial Hospital  has  successfully  completed its  Saving  Lives  Close  to  Home capital   campaign. The campaign surpassed its  $5-million  goal,  raising  $5.2  million to  expand  cancer  and  medical care  in  a  nine-county  region. The  facility  will  be  called  the Kate Marmion Regional Cancer Medical Center.

A $54,000 grant was awarded at  the  end  of   December  by  the Fort  Worth-based  Sid  W.  Richardson  Foundation,  a  philanthropic   organization   founded in 1947 by Sid W. Richardson, a Texan  who  earned  his  fortune in the oil industry.

“Thanks to the generous support of  the Richardson Foundation, individuals, businesses  and   other foundations from across  our region and state we have been able to exceed our expectations   for meeting the $500,000 challenge grant from The  J.E.  and  L.E.  Mabee  Foundation,” said Roger Berry, campaign co-chairman.

The capital campaign was launched in June 2008 when former Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. and Janey Briscoe Marmion  gave  the  campaign’s lead  challenge  gift  of   $1.2-million  in  memory  of   the  governor’s granddaughter and Janey and  Jim  Marmion’s  daughter, Kate.

“We  are  so  pleased  that  the campaign goal has been met and so  many  people  came  together for  our  community  and  region to  make  it  possible;  this  is  a wonderful   example   that   the
best is yet to come for our area and  our  great  state  of   Texas,” Briscoe said. “This  would  mean  a  lot  to Kate  because  it  will  help  the people  that  she  always  wanted to help,” he said.

“We  are  so  thankful  to  the Briscoe family for their leadership in this campaign,” Dr. John Shudde, campaign co-chairman, said.  “Their  involvement opened  many  doors  for  us  to share this vital project and gain support  from  so  many  people and  foundations,  especially  in San  Antonio,  that  would  not have happened at the generous level it did.

“We  had  people  simply  say they did not need to know anything about the project other than  it  was  important  to  the governor. It is a good project that will help many people. ”The gift in Marmion’s memory was added to an earlier unrestricted gift of  $1.2 million given by the Archie Jones estate to the hospital in late 2007, which the hospital board voted to use to  show  the  hospital’s  commitment to the regional center.

The campaign was named Saving Lives Close to Home because  it  will  bring  the  first radiation therapy center for cancer patients to the area located  west of San Antonio and provide additional medical office  space  that  will  assist  in recruiting primary and secondary physicians. The center will be located on four acres of  land adjacent to the hospital donated by the late Joseph Puccini.

Hospital Chief Executive Officer Jim Buckner stressed the importance of the regional aspect of  the project.

“The centerpiece of  this project is to bring aggressive, state-f-the  art  cancer  care  to  the region  with  radiation  therapy, and the new space will allow us to  increase  our  chemotherapy infusion  services  from  six  stations to 10 stations allowing us to  effectively  and  aggressively treat cancer all under one roof,” Buckner said. 

The additional medical office building will establish a regional center for broader care, expanding  the number and types  of medical specialists in the region in the fields of orthopedics, cardiology, surgery and primary care.

“We need more space for new physicians to office close to the hospital,  and  this  space  meets that need and also provides a positive economic impact on our community. Yes,  it’s  more
jobs, it’s more services available locally  and  it  is  less  time  away from   home   for patients and their families. It lets them have more time to meet their needs and not be on the road traveling out of  our region to access care.

It’s what we want as a community,  to  grow  our  services  as  a community and to be more self-sufficient,” Buckner said.

Architectural and construction planning are under way with groundbreaking anticipated in the spring of  this year. The projected timetable will have the center completed by the spring of  2011.

“We have been awestruck by the generosity of so many donors who have helped to make this   project possible,” hospital development coordinator  Sheri  Rutledge  said.  “Our program to sell engraved bricks is ongoing and we continue to have meaningful conversations with potential donors who want to support this project. And while we have met the construction goal, our  fundraising  and outreach are still very much in full swing. Every dollar raised will support the mission of  the regional center.”

“Ongoing donor support will be needed to provide medical care for those who do not have the financial resources for radiation therapy and for the cost to offer transportation for those patients who do not have access to the new center,”  said Shudde.

“We need to maintain the vans and pay the van drivers and buy the gas to operate them throughout the region for those who cannot get to the cancer center on their own. Those individuals who are still considering supporting us are still needed and encouraged to support this cause,” said Rutledge.

Serving with Briscoe, Marmion, Berry and Shudde on the Capital Campaign Committee are Jim  Buckner, Vicente Gonzales, Bill Kessler, Carol Kothmann, Rene Nolasco, Joe Parker, Alexis Petty,  Rose Puente, Sheri Rutledge and Janet White. The late Lewis E. Bracy Jr. was also a member of the committee. His wife, Elaine Bracy, is an ex officio member of the group.

The new center will serve patients of Uvalde, Real, Zavala, Edwards, Medina, Maverick, Val  Verde, Dimmit and Kinney counties.

All donations to the campaign are tax deductible because Uvalde Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) community hospital.

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Project team

Honorary Chairs

The Honorable Dolph Briscoe, Jr.


Janey Briscoe Marmion


Roger Berry
John L. Shudde, MD

Committee Members

Lewis E. Bracy, Jr.


Vicente Gonzales, III

Bill Kessler

Carol Kothmann

Rene Nolasco

Joe Parker

Alexis L. Petty

Janet White

UMH Advisors

Jim Buckner,Administrator
Sheri Rutledge, Development Coordinator
Rose Puente, Cost Accountant