McCook Hospital Receives Grant for Equipment Important to New Ra - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

McCook Hospital Receives Grant for Equipment Important to New Radiation Oncology Center

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Trista Kontz-Bartels (center), Program Officer for the Rural Healthcare Program presents The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to (from left) Jim O'Dea, Jim Ulrich, Terri Shipshock, Corey Brockway. Trista Kontz-Bartels (center), Program Officer for the Rural Healthcare Program presents The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to (from left) Jim O'Dea, Jim Ulrich, Terri Shipshock, Corey Brockway.

Community Hospital in McCook has been awarded a grant totaling almost $3 Million from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The grant was given to help purchase a new linear accelerator for the Radiation Oncology Center project. 

The hospital's president and CEO Jim Ulrich thanked the trust for the grant, saying it will help achieve the hospital's vision of enhancing access to oncology services in the region.

Ulrich said, "This is a tremendous gift and will be a huge benefit to our Radiation Oncology Center project. By providing radiation oncology and cancer services right here in McCook we are taking giant strides toward our hospital's vision, ‘To lead the region as a healthcare team by exceeding patient expectations through the advancement of quality healthcare services.'"

The hospital has plans to begin construction on a new Radiation Oncology Center this spring. The center will allow cancer patients to receive radiation treatments in McCook instead of traveling to a larger hospital that offers this service.

"This enhancement to access of radiation oncology services will have a tremendously positive impact for patients in our region," said Ulrich. "With an average of 325 new cancer cases diagnosed in our region annually, adding this service allows us to provide comprehensive cancer care which is so very important to our patients."

According to Community Hospital, radiation therapy requires daily treatments for up to seven weeks. Patients currently undergoing this treatment must travel a minimum of 70 miles one way to receive their treatments.

"We have known for many years the ability to provide radiation oncology in McCook will save our patients hours of travel and allow them the convenience and comfort of staying nearer their home," Ulrich said. He added that the hospital considers this an essential service because of the areas high population of elderly and incidents of specific cancer rates that rank above the national average.

The Radiation Oncology Center will include a reception and waiting room, two large exam rooms, offices for staff, a control room and a large vault to contain the linear accelerator.

The total project is estimated at approximately $6 million. Community Hospital Health Foundation is raising funds for the project through the Campaign for Cancer Care.

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