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Radiation Oncology Lead Gift From Long-Time Health Foundation Supporters

April 01, 2013

McCook, Nebraska—Community Hospital’s first lead gift toward the Campaign for Cancer Care to raise funds for the new Radiation Oncology Center came from a family who is known for its support of healthcare in the community.

Lemoine 'Andy' Anderson and the late Geri Anderson’s gift of $500,000 was announced at the recent Concert for Cancer Care which featured the Great Plains Opry and country western star Collin Raye from Nashville.

“In the world of fundraising, you meet some very special people; none more special than Andy and Geri Anderson,” said Terri Shipshock, Community Hospital Health Foundation Executive Director. “Sadly, we recently lost Geri after her long battle with cancer. If there is a positive to be found in her struggles, it is that she understood more than most how important it is to have access to cancer treatment. Because of her experiences seeking care and the compassion of her husband, Andy, they chose to assist others by reducing some of the challenges cancer patients must endure. They chose to support Community Hospital’s efforts to bring radiation oncology to McCook.”

The generous Anderson gift for the oncology center was the initiative to start the fundraising ball rolling. “Community Hospital’s strategic planning process had identified the need to provide radiation oncology for the people in our region,” Shipshock said. “However, receiving the gift from Andy and Geri was the turning point in knowing that it could, in fact, be a reality.”

The Community Hospital Board of Directors unanimously approved the project to build a 4,200-square-foot Radiation Oncology Center at their February 20 board meeting. The project includes a radiation oncology building addition on the east side of the Medical Specialists Center and the purchase of a linear accelerator to deliver the radiation treatment. Plans are to begin the building project this spring, if possible, completing it by the end of 2013 or early in 2014.

“Providing radiation oncology services in McCook will benefit our patients immensely,” said Jim Ulrich, Community Hospital President and CEO. Radiation therapy requires daily treatments for up to seven weeks. Currently patients must travel at least 70 miles one way to receive their treatments, which take only a matter of minutes. “This new service will save our patients hours of travel and allow them the convenience and comfort of staying nearer their home,” he added.

Shipshock said the Andersons have long been supporters of healthcare. In 1997, they gave the original gift to start the hospice endowment in memory of their son, Michael. “That fund has grown to more than $300,000 with proceeds from An Evening for Hospice dedicated to building the fund,” Shipshock added. “Over the years, revenue has been used to educate nurses, provide grief counseling, purchase volunteer training material and assist families when resources are not available.”

The Andersons also donated a major gift toward Community Hospital’s Rehabilitation Center by sponsoring the Geri Anderson admissions area, as well as numerous other projects at Community Hospital.

Others who have a strong interest in expanding cancer services in McCook and want to learn more about the Campaign for Cancer Care may contact the Foundation by phone at 308-344-7222 or email at tshipshock@chmccook.org. Click here for more information.

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