St. Anthony Regional Hospital today announced plans for a $16.5 million regional cancer center that is expected to open next year.
St. Anthony Regional Hospital today announced plans for a $16.5 million regional cancer center that is expected to open next year.

February 27, 2019

Today, the St. Anthony Foundation announced a $7 million capital campaign for a new regional cancer center, which will serve hundreds of residents each year in west-central Iowa.

The capital campaign will fund a significant portion of the $16.5 million project recently approved by the St. Anthony Board of Directors.

More details about the center itself will be available in the spring. It will be located centrally on St. Anthony’s campus between the hospital and nursing home, Luke Building, Orchard View and Garden View, and is expected to open in 2020 after the campaign and construction are completed.

St. Anthony Regional Hospital has provided medical oncology in the region for the past 30 years and radiation oncology for the past 25 years. Today’s announcement secures and expands these critical services for the next generation of west-central Iowans.

This is a catalyst moment for our region and community,” St. Anthony President and CEO Ed Smith said. “The capital campaign is an investment in a new facility and a continuation of our high-quality cancer care. More importantly, it demonstrates our commitment to providing care close to home for those battling cancer.”

Carroll saw more new cancer cases — about 160, compared with 100 or fewer in surrounding counties — in 2018, according to information from the State Health Registry of Iowa.

Smith explained that St. Anthony, along with medical and radiation oncologists, will partner with health-care providers to offer seamless, patient-centered care in the facility to individuals fighting cancer.

“As a two-time cancer survivor, I believe the St. Anthony Cancer Center will show our community that a cancer diagnosis isn’t the end of the world,” Carroll resident Ann Slechta said in information provided by St. Anthony.

Cornerstone gift

The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (FSPA) helped kick off the campaign with a cornerstone gift of $2.5 million to the St. Anthony Foundation. The Sisters founded St. Anthony Regional Hospital in 1905 and continue to have a close relationship with the hospital today.

“We are pleased to be the first, major gift of the campaign,” FSPA member and honorary campaign chair Sister Helen Elsbernd said. “Because of our long and important history with St. Anthony, Carroll and the region, we are excited to invest in the new regional cancer center to bring health, healing and hope to those facing cancer.”

Although Sister Elsbernd and additional members of the FSPA planned to be present for the campaign announcement, they were unable to attend due to inclement weather. They remain committed to the campaign and the regional cancer center.

“It is awesome to see the healing ministry begun in Carroll by our Sisters in 1905 continue to develop and bring excellent health care for the people of the region,” Elsbernd said in a letter to Smith. “We believe it is important to invest in this region where FSPA has deep roots. … We pray that our gift will help catalyze this very important campaign in bringing people together to provide the people, equipment and environment for patients in west-central Iowa.”

Smith acknowledged the significance of the FSPA gift.

“St. Anthony is grateful to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration for their unwavering support and passion for our mission,” he said. “Their generous gift provides a solid foundation for this project and we hope to build on this momentum throughout the region.”

Campaign leadership

The St. Anthony Foundation also announced the team of volunteer leaders who will be on the frontlines of the campaign. Campaign co-chairs are Barry and Mary Bruner, Tom and Jean Farner, and Matt and Peggy Greteman. Honorary chairs include Sister Helen Elsbernd, John and Sally Norgaard, Wayne and Shirley Seaman, and Gene and Loa Dawn Vincent.

“We are thankful for this team of dedicated and dynamic individuals, and their deep commitment to St. Anthony,” said Karl Eischeid, chairman of the St. Anthony Foundation Board. “They will be contributing many hours and resources to help make the regional cancer center a reality — and we are honored to take this exciting journey together.”

St. Anthony welcomes the support and participation in this campaign of the regional community, as well as individuals and businesses in numerous neighboring counties. In the next few months, St. Anthony representatives will reach out to individuals and businesses across the region to answer questions and discuss opportunities to donate.