Cancer center effort passes $5 million goal
Spring start is plan for Kate Marmion Regional Cancer Medical Center
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.