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New cancer center to break ground Jan. 17

For immediate release: Jan. 8, 2013

Dave Rizzotto, 970.237.7105,

Public invited to Jan. 17 cancer center groundbreaking

University of Colorado Health will break ground Jan. 17 on an outpatient cancer center in Fort Collins.

The ceremony will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

The center will be located on UCHealth's Harmony Campus in Fort Collins, west of I-25. The outpatient facility will be about 30,000 square feet is currently estimated at $11 million and is expected to be completed in 2014. Heery International is the architecture firm and Adolfson & Peterson will manage construction.

Architectural rendering of the cancer center.
Open to the public
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Cancer center site; 2121 E. Harmony Road, Fort Collins, Colo.

The center was designed from a patient’s perspective.  The Poudre Valley Hospital Foundation asked community members touched by cancer how to improve care. The consensus was that patients want care close to home, so they don’t have to leave their community. They prefer to have treatment, care and support at one location rather than multiple sites. A cancer patient often has 100 appointments in the first year after diagnosis, adding physical, emotional and financial stress to an already challenging journey.

To answer this challenge, PVH, part of UCHealth, and the Foundation developed plans to deliver one-door  access so patients will get virtually all of their treatment and care under the same roof.  In addition to community feedback, hundreds of doctors, nurses and staff members contributed to the design.

“We want to provide a better cancer-care experience that meets the needs of patients all in one location,” said Kevin Unger, PVH president and CEO.  “We will have everything centralized from diagnostic services to treatment and care to survivorship.”

“It will raise the bar on cancer care in northern Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region,” said Unger, who chaired a community committee that oversaw planning and fundraising for the center. 

To date, more than 3,500 members of the community have contributed more than $3 million to the project.

The patient-centric design fosters multidisciplinary care. In this new center, patients will often see multiple specialists in one visit, in one room. These seamless connections will promote personalized treatment strategies managed by a single point of contact from diagnosis to survivorship.

Dr. Miho Scott, a medical oncologist with Colorado Health Medical Group, said the new center will be an improvement for all involved. "When I can see my patients in one environment dedicated to connecting all the experts involved in their cancer care, I know those patients will have a better experience overall."

Earlier plans proposed construction of a new standalone building. Instead, PVH decided to accelerate the center’s opening, adjoining the existing oncology clinic and radiation oncology department.

In 2011, the first phase of the new cancer center began with a $7.1 million expansion of radiation oncology. The installation of the TrueBeamTM STx linear accelerator was the first of its kind in Colorado.  Regarded as the world’s most advanced technology for treating cancerous tumors, the linear accelerator is already in use. A treatment session that may have taken 30 minutes on older equipment now takes just five.

The center will provide access to: 

  • Clinical research.
  • Complementary therapies such as massage and healing touch.
  • Counseling/oncology social work.
  • Genetic counseling.
  • Healing garden.
  • Infusion center.Laboratory.
  • Medical oncology.
  • Pathology.
  • Patient navigation.
  • Physical rehabilitation.
  • Radiation oncology.

UCHealth, a partnership of Poudre Valley Health System and University of Colorado Hospital, enhances services to cancer patients by strengthening the ongoing partnership between community and academic physicians. Specifically, the affiliation will expand research access for patients, building on over a decade of partnership with University of Colorado Cancer Center, Colorado's only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. 

In the new Fort Collins-basefd center, already well-developed programs will better deliver patient navigation, oncology counseling, and research services to patients. Patients undergoing treatment will choose to socialize with peers, have private family time, or enjoy fresh air and mountain views on the second floor balconies.

Vikki Wagner, chair of the Survivor Advisory Council, said “we are re-defining the cancer experience and making sure healing, hope and wellness are alongside great clinical treatment.”

The cancer center is part of UCHealth’s expansion of inpatient and outpatient cancer treatment and support services in northern Colorado. Inpatient cancer treatment was added at the Medical Center of the Rockies in 2010. Inpatient cancer care was previously provided only at PVH in Fort Collins. The UCHealth cancer program also extended its medical oncology and outpatient infusion clinics to Greeley and Loveland, in addition to its existing Fort Collins medical oncology and radiation oncology services.

For more information about the center and opportunities to be involved, go to

About University of Colorado Health

University of Colorado Health is a Front Range health system that delivers the highest quality patient care with the highest quality patient experience. University of Colorado Health combines Memorial Health System, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, Colorado Health Medical Group (formerly Poudre Valley Medical Group), and University of Colorado Hospital into an organization dedicated to building a healthier community and providing unmatched patient care in the Rocky Mountain West. Separately, these institutions can continue providing superior care to patients and service to the communities they serve. Together, they push the boundaries of medicine, attracting more research funding, hosting more clinical trials and improving health through innovation.

-- University of Colorado Health --

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