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Huntsman Cancer Institute to Expand to Utah County

The+Huntsman+Cancer+Institute+at+the+University+of+Utah+in+Salt+Lake+City+on+Sunday%2C+July+3%2C+2023.+%28Photo+by+Marco+Lozzi+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29
Marco Lozzi
The Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Sunday, July 3, 2023. (Photo by Marco Lozzi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

Huntsman Cancer Institute is expanding its reach to Utah County — a new branch in Vineyard was announced last month.

The decision to expand the Huntsman Cancer Institute into Utah County was driven by the extraordinary population growth in our state,” said Mary Beckerle, CEO of HCI in an email interview. “We wanted to ensure that we can meet the needs of cancer patients and our communities, while also providing access to the cutting-edge research and care available at the region’s only National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.”

Beckerle said Utah granted HCI $1 million to begin planning and designing the center. The Huntsman Foundation has also pledged a $75 million matching gift to jump-start fundraising.

She added that “the tempo of fundraising for the project will define the timeline for the development.”

“This is a bold step forward, mirroring a similar step Jon and Karen Huntsman took establishing Huntsman Cancer Institute 25 years ago,” said Peter Huntsman, chairman and CEO of HCI, in a press release. “This new campus is a game-changer, bringing research and specialty cancer care closer to the people of Utah County and surrounding rural areas. But one family cannot do it alone. Similar to our previous expansions, this state-owned project will only be completed with the matching funds from state and local leaders, institutions and our generous individual contributors.”

The new center will also be adjacent to both Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University.

“This will open new possibilities for collaboration and advances in cancer research, prevention and treatment,” Beckerle said. 

One of the biggest healthcare disparities HCI has found is the distance rural Utahns travel to receive cancer treatment. HCI’s recent study published in Cancer Medicine found the five-year cancer survival rate for rural Utahns was 5.2% lower than metropolitan residents, Beckerle said.

“It’s clear that distance is a significant challenge for many patients,” she said.

Over the past year, cancer patients from Utah County made over 35,000 trips to HCI, which is at least an hour drive each way.

“It’s an enormous burden for those already dealing with the physical, financial and emotional aspects of a cancer diagnosis,” Beckerle said. “It clearly demonstrates the pressing need for local access to the exceptional resources available at our institute.”

The location was chosen carefully to be accessible even to those beyond Utah County. It’s a 10-minute drive from Provo Municipal Airport and is located near the Vineyard Frontrunner Station and I-15.

The natural scenery of the location also played a role in the decision.

The new campus will be integrated with the community and will reflect a healing environment, which is a signature aspect of our cancer care program,” Beckerle said. “Patients will have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful lake and mountain views, open spaces, tranquility and access to nature. These elements play a vital role in promoting a sense of well-being during their treatment journey.”

In addition, the new campus will act as a “hub for the development of new cancer science,” Beckerle said.

Cancer science that is developed on the Utah County campus will focus on grand challenges that are particularly relevant for the communities we serve, such as the challenge of delivering optimal cancer prevention and care at a distance,” she said. “By leading discovery and innovation in areas like precision prevention and digital health, we expect to have a global impact and improve the landscape of cancer incidence and care worldwide.”

 

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@caelrobertsnews

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About the Contributors
Caelan Roberts
Caelan Roberts, News Editor
Cael is double majoring in English and journalism which gives him a chance to fully explore his passion of writing. He loves working at the Chronicle and is excited for the opportunity to edit on the news desk and work with leadership and writers.
Marco Lozzi
Marco Lozzi, Photographer
Born in Texas and raised by Italian parents, Marco Lozzi grew up with two vastly different cultures. Now a sophomore at the U, he is majoring in communication with a journalism emphasis while also minoring in photography and Italian. He joined the Chrony to gain experience working as a photojournalist for a larger entity. When he's not taking or editing photos, he can be found hitting the slopes, napping, or making pasta.

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