A $2 million donation to the Valley View Calaway-Young Cancer Center could ensure patients have access to therapeutic treatments, housing assistance and lower medical bills for the foreseeable future.
Although the donor remained anonymous, the donation is expected to create a permanent endowment, which could allow Valley View cancer patients to benefit from the funds in perpetuity, according to a press release from Valley View Hospital.
“The goal is to increase the endowment to approximately $8 million,” said Dr. Stephen Mayer, medical director of the cancer center. “If we can accumulate $8 million over the next few years, that amount of revenue will generate enough revenue to fund integrated therapies forever, assuming the economy stays in a similar state.”
Integrated therapies include therapeutic massage, craniosacral therapy, acupuncture, and other treatments designed to help patients manage the physical, mental, and emotional challenges often associated with a cancer diagnosis.
“Being able to provide this breadth of treatment options is quite unique for a small town cancer center,” Mayer said. “As an oncologist, when you’re dealing with side-effect chemotherapy and various other medications, integrated therapies give us the ability to improve the way our patients feel, rather than just providing another side effect. .”
Built in 2012, Calaway-Young Cancer Center is home to a nationally recognized, highly skilled, innovative and respected team of providers accredited for the most advanced cancer treatment technologies and options in the United States, the press release states. . Its reach extends beyond the Roaring Fork Valley to include patients from Rifle, Steamboat Springs, Grand Junction, Meeker and beyond.
Mayer, who became a doctor in a second career after 15 years as a molecular biologist, was named in the donation, honoring the doctor’s service, the press release said.
Cancer treatment, however, goes far beyond any individual’s job, Mayer said.
“I’m honored, but providing cancer care is not a one-man job,” he said. “It takes a team, and we have a great team of care providers.
Valley View Director of Integrated Therapies Jo Bershenyi said the endowment will help pay salaries for Integrated Therapies staff and provide financial assistance to patients.
“We have patients coming from all over the western slope,” Bershenyi said. “Chemo is a five-day-a-week treatment that often leaves patients too exhausted to drive back and forth for several hours each day.”
The endowment will help fund gas and meal cards as well as housing assistance for those struggling to pay treatment fees.
Calaway-Young has patients in all income brackets, Mayer said.
“We take care of people who can’t afford to give much – undocumented immigrants, uninsured residents and more,” he said.
“The endowment will provide a cushion. We provide the care first and determine the financial end later.
Bershenyi said the hospital is able to continue to serve every patient, regardless of income, with a high standard of care thanks to donations like this.
“This is a unique program at our hospital that our community wholeheartedly supports, and we are very grateful for that,” she said. “It is humbling every day to be able to provide this level of care to our patients thanks to the generosity of our community. »
Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at [email protected]