Plans for the Delbert Day Cancer Institute have gone public. Around 150 people were treated to the unveiling of the plans for the state-of-the art center Tuesday evening at the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Medical Office Building.
In 2011 PCRMC first announced the creation of the Delbert Day Cancer Institute with initial funding coming from Day's son and daughter-in-law, Ted and Kim Day.
Dr. Delbert Day is a Curators' Professor Emeritus of ceramic engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Day has served Missouri S&T for nearly 50 years in various teaching, research and administrative capacities.
An expert in developing specialty glasses, Day is best known for co-inventing glass microspheres, now marketed under the brand name TheraSphere, which are used commercially in the United States and Canada to treat patients with liver cancer.
PCRMC is already a major provider of cancer services in the south-central Missouri region. However, the medical center does not have the resources, staff or infrastructure to serve all of the area's high-needs patients.
Currently, PCRMC can only treat about 40 percent of cancer patients in its seven-county service radius.
The cancer institute will be located between the Medical Office Building and the North Entrance of the hospital.
"The positioning of where we build this was looked at very carefully. One of the bigger pluses of positioning it where we have is its position to the interstate," said John Denbo, PCRMC's chief executive officer. "We want people to know that we have the world's best community-based cancer center."
The estimated cost for the 37,000-square-foot, four-story center is $20 million. Tuesday's event kicked off the capital campaign for the new center.
The hope is the campaign will raise $7 million from the public. According to Donia Camarena, PCRMC's major and planned giving specialist, more than half of that $7 million has already been raised.
In his PowerPoint presentation, Denbo summed up the vision of the proposed institute with two words: patient centered.
This will be an all-inclusive cancer care center where all lab facilities, imaging services radiation oncology, infusion therapies among other things will be largely under one roof," he said. "This will simplify logistics for patients, family members and medical staff."
The center will also have access to clinical trials. PCRMC will continue to participate in the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Community Clinical Oncology Program which connects patients and physicians with NCI sponsored new treatments and clinical trials for drugs.
In addition, the center will also be outfitted to offer introductory treatments and clinical experimental trials. Physicians will also have the opportunity to learn and contribute to pathbreaking clinical research.
Should all things go as planned, Denbo said bids for the project would be sought in the spring of next year with construction starting in the early part of summer. It is estimated that the project will take 15-17 months to complete, so the center would open in 2016.