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Generosity Moves Pierre Avera Cancer Institute Closer to Reality

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Avera St. Mary’s Foundation has reached a fundraising milestone in the Helmsley Center Challenge and Avera Cancer Institute project, with more than half of the funds committed for the project.

In August, Avera St. Mary’s Hospital announced plans to build the 30 million dollar Helmsley Center and Avera Cancer Institute to provide radiation and infusion therapy to the Pierre region. The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust awarded a grant of $7.5 million dollars and an additional $2.5 million in a dollar-for-dollar matching grant. Avera St. Mary’s Foundation has been actively fundraising to meet the match.

Dr. Mikel Holland, Avera St. Mary’s President and Chief Medical Officer, says while the foundation has been busy with the fundraising process, many at Avera have been busy with the design process as well.

Ellen Lee, Avera Foundation Vice President, says the key to this project is the stories from those that have had to travel to get cancer radiation therapy. Holland adds that this facility will offer the well needed service.

The Helmsley Center will not only offer complete cancer care. Holland says it will house a upgrade to some existing services already in place. That includes a new cafeteria and orthopedic services. 

The Helmsley Center Challenge campaign is taking place in 15 central South Dakota counties that will directly benefit from the new facilities and expanded cancer care options. While there is still significant fundraising left to meet the $2.5 million match, work is expected to begin on the Helmsley Center later this spring. A ground-breaking ceremony will be held in late April.  

Categories: Local News


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