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Spears Cancer Center ceremony celebrates expansion

Ribbon-cutting signifies a major milestone in cancer care for Josephine County.

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When the Helen K. Spears Cancer Center opened 20 years ago, it was the first time Josephine County residents had access to cancer care close to home. Now, two decades and two expansions later, Asante celebrated the latest remodel with an invitation-only ribbon cutting on Saturday.

The $15.2 million construction project started in September 2020 with the addition of a second floor that tripled the size of the cancer center for a total of 35,000 square feet. The expansion has made room for additional cancer-fighting technology and services.

“This is a game changer for how people in Josephine County and surrounding communities receive their cancer care,” said Brian Murphy, administrative director of Cancer Services at Asante. “The technology we’ve brought in will greatly improve our ability to care for them.”

In addition to radiation oncology that has been the mainstay of cancer care at Spears, several new offerings now round out treatment options for a more comprehensive and convenient experience, including:

  • A diagnostic CT scanner.
  • Infusion services with 31 patient chairs and two beds in private rooms.
  • On-site laboratory and pharmacy services.
  • Support services such as nurse navigators, social workers and dietitians.

“The most notable new service at Spears that will have the greatest impact is the addition of infusion services,” Murphy said. “People will have access to cancer care without the inconvenience or struggle of driving to several locations for treatments and related cancer services.”

As with the Mary and Dick Heimann Cancer Center in Medford, Asante partners with physicians at Hematology Oncology Associates for outpatient clinical care at the Helen K. Spears Cancer Center.

Support from the community has come in all sizes, with every gift making a difference to help ensure residents in Josephine County have access to lifesaving care.

“Philanthropy is the reason Spears Cancer Center exists. From the moment it opened in 2001 to this expansion 20 years later, community support has played a critical role in ensuring this facility and its services continue to help people in Josephine County and beyond,” said Andrea Reeder, Asante Foundation vice president and executive director. “We’re grateful to the Spears family and the 800-plus donors who’ve continued their commitment to this AsanteForward initiative.”

Evergreen Federal Bank joined the Spears family as a leading donor to this project with a $250,000 gift. The conference room within the cancer center will be named in honor of Evergreen’s leadership commitment.

“Evergreen Federal Bank is pleased to partner with Asante Foundation and all donors who have made this cancer center possible,” said Jeff Hyde, CEO and bank president of Evergreen Federal Bank. “The expansion enables Asante to offer infusion services locally. Access to these services will help save lives.”

The Spears Cancer Center is a department of Asante Three Rivers Medical Center. To learn more or get involved, visit Asante Foundation.

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