Generous donor earns naming rights for new YVMC Cancer Care Center | CraigDailyPress.com

Generous donor earns naming rights for new YVMC Cancer Care Center

Yampa Valley Medical Center's board of trustees recently approved a $14.3 million plan for the renovation of the former Doak Walker Care Center and the construction of a new cancer treatment center.

— A large donation from Steamboat Springs resident Joe Bishop has boosted fundraising for a new Cancer Care Center at Yampa Valley Medical Center, and the new facility will be named in honor of Bishop's sister.

A groundbreaking for the new Jan Bishop Memorial Cancer Care Center is expected to take place in October. Jan Bishop died of cancer in her twenties.

Bishop's donation was announced Thursday during the YVMC Foundation's Diamonds & Denim Gala. The exact amount of the donation isn't being disclosed, but it is considered significant enough for the "naming opportunity" designation, which must meet or exceed $1 million, according to Liz Finegan, executive director of the Yampa Valley Medical Center's Healthcare Foundation.

"This outstanding gift, one of the largest ever made to Yampa Valley Medical Center, comes at a time that will serve as an inspiration to philanthropists and others who choose to support out great hospital," Finegan said, in a release.

The donation comes after a year of "quiet" fundraising, during which the foundation collected a little more than $2 million, Finegan said, surpassing an original goal of $1.5 million to put towards the $4.3 million new center. The hospital initially planned to use reserve capital to fund the remaining portion.

The latest donation has put the fundraising campaign at about $3.1 million, and has led the YVMC Foundation to pursue collecting all the funding needed for the center.

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"Because we've had such great enthusiasm and success in the community, we, as a foundation, have decided to raise our goal," Finegan said. "We think that the community is so excited at having cancer care close to home that they will want to finish up this campaign."

The new cancer center will be housed on the top floor of a new, 14,000-square-foot building that will be added to the east side of the hospital, next to the former Doak Walker Care Center.

The former Doak is undergoing its own transformation into an Outpatient Pavilion.

Cancer services currently at the hospital are spread out across different areas, and the new center will consolidate service to provide more streamlined cancer care.

The bottom floor of the new space will available for future hospital expansion, according to hospital officials.

More than 3,000 people received a form of cancer screening, diagnosis or treatment at the hospital last year.

"On behalf of our patients, we are honored that Joe Bishop has helped our dreams come true in building a permanent home where we can care for cancer patients. This extraordinary gift will provide our patients with resources that will enable them to obtain optimal health close to home," said Tony Connell, chair of the YVMC Board of Trustees, in a release.

YVMC hopes to open the center by November 2016, Finegan said.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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