Avera receives 3 more donations for cancer center

MARSHALL – Just days after reaching its groundbreaking goal, Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center announced three more substantial donations for the new cancer institute.

The second phase of fundraising is aimed at raising $1.6 million to equip and furnish the $12.95 million cancer center.

Recent donations were received from the Louis Otto Family for $10,000; Thrifty White Pharmacy with $25,000 and the Marshall Area Masonic Bodies for $12,000, Avera said Thursday.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to accept these donations,” said Marty Seifert, executive director of the Avera Marshall Foundation. “Members of our community and local businesses have been very generous for this important project, and we are grateful to every person and organization that has been a part of this effort.”

Avera’s funding plan includes a $7 million (plus interest) gift from the city previously set aside after the sale of the medical center from the city of Marshall to the Avera health system. The $7 million was earmarked for oncology program development when the change of ownership occurred three years ago.

The $12.95 million cancer institute would offer resources such as chemotherapy and radiation treatments for people in an eight-county area.

The closest sites that currently offer radiation therapy are Willmar and Sioux Falls, S.D. Sanford Worthington also has a Cancer Center, Sanford Health Cancer Center. It has been in operation for six years and added a medical oncologist this year. It operates as an LLC with partners in Slayton, Tracy, Westbrook, Windom, Jackson and Worthington.

The center will also provide surgery, pharmacy, dietitian consultation, home medical equipment, an on-site CT (Computed Topography) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

The cancer center will be an addition to the existing medical center in Marshall.

Groundbreaking is planned for later this month. The construction period would run for approximately 11 to 13 months.