Uvalde Memorial Hospital Announces Opening of Kate Marmion Regional Cancer Medical Center
Uvalde Memorial Hospital will open the new Kate Marmion Regional Cancer Medical Center to the public with a community celebration at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August the 17th .
The Grand Opening of the Center marks the success of a two year capital campaign in which over $5.4-million in donations was received from private individuals, businesses and foundations. The “Saving Lives Close to Home” campaign was kicked off by a $1.2-million donation by Former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe and Janey Briscoe Marmion. Their donation was given in memory of Kate Marmion, the governor’s granddaughter and Jim and Janey Marmion’s daughter for whom the center is named.
The project was the vision of Uvalde resident Roger Berry who wanted to find an easier way for radiation patients to receive treatment. Mr. Berry had witnessed the toll daily round trips to San Antonio for radiation therapy took on both his father and father-in-law and their families during the men’s battle with cancer. Mr. Berry approached hospital administrator, Jim Buckner, in 2006 about his idea of bringing radiation therapy to Uvalde. The hospital began the due diligence to assess the need and financial investment required for the service.
According to a zip code analysis conducted by UMH, the targeted nine counties registered 11,469 radiation oncology procedures received by residents. The number increased by 819 in 2010. “Realize that radiation oncology was not available to these patients in our region, we knew that access to state of the art treatment would help to alleviate the financial and time constraints that have burdened our local cancer patients in years past, said Buckner. “Patients had to travel to San Antonio, Houston or elsewhere to receive treatment; adding this service made sense if we could raise the funds to build the vault and the building.”
The center consists of two buildings; the first building at 10,189-square feet will house a Clinac Medical Linear Accelerator machine that delivers radiation therapy. This was purchased by Dr. David Jones of Southern Oncology Development Associates, who will head the radiation oncology practice. “Dr. Jones partnered with us to bring this treatment to our region, said Buckner. “It has truly been a “you build it and I will equip it” arrangement.” Partnering with Dr. Jones made this project affordable and sustainable for both of us and he is using the same type of equipment that is used at cancer treatment facilities located in San Antonio and Houston.”
The first building will also include a hematology oncology practice space that capitalizes on day lighting, natural views and a ten seat infusion suite furnished with comfortable recliners designed specifically for infusion therapy patients.
The second building at 17,000-square feet will provide office space for recently recruited hospital medical staff members: cardiologist Dr. K. N. Anwar, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jack Conoley, general surgeon Dr. Sandra Boenig, and pediatrician Dr. Roy Guerrero. “We will have space for additional specialties we are in the process of recruiting,” said Buckner.
“Our new center includes many features that will help patients feel more calm and comfortable and make the workspace more efficient for our physicians and their staff members,” said Buckner. This project is a significant milestone for our hospital and our region and it will give people the opportunity to receive exceptional care closer to home. The ultimate goal has always been longer, healthier lives for all the people in our region.”
The grand opening ceremony will start at 9:30 on August 17. After the ceremony, public tours will be available of the new facilities.