GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - A major expansion at Valley View Hospital, including the new 30,000-square-foot, $26 million Calaway-Young Cancer Center, tops the Post Independent's list of stories for 2012.
The cancer center officially opened in September, bringing state-of-the art, comprehensive cancer care services, including a radiation treatment program, to Glenwood Springs and the region.
The cancer center is named for Carbondale philanthropists Jim and Connie Calaway, and Alpine Bank founder and chairman Bob Young. The Calaways and Young collectively donated $4 million toward the center's construction.
The center is just part of a five-story, 145,000-square-foot addition to the hospital that completes a 10-year expansion effort at Valley View.
The upper floors of the newest building remain under construction, and will eventually house the hospital's cardiovascular and neurology departments, as well as doctor's offices and other hospital functions.
Hospital officials identified cancer services as a growing need within Valley View's service area a few years ago, and began planning the facility as a way to better serve local cancer patients.
"What we wanted to be able to do was offer these services as close to home as possible, so people don't have to drive so far in one direction or the other," said VVH Chief Executive Officer Gary Brewer during a September press tour of the new facility.
Added VVH oncologist Dr. Ira Jaffrey, the cancer center "is designed to be a more human-friendly place, so that you feel like you're at home, instead of a sterile hospital environment."
The cancer center includes a new, $3 million linear accelerator used to administer radiation treatments to cancer patients.
"This is the leading edge of technology, and it allows us to offer a full spectrum of modern radiation treatment services," said radiation oncologist Dr. Bruce Greene.
A range of ancillary care is also offered to patients at the cancer center, including patient and family counseling, massage and acupuncture therapy, and cosmetic services.
In addition to the contributions from the Calaways and Young, the Valley View Hospital Foundation also raised $7 million in private donations toward the completion of the cancer center. The remaining $19 million of the cost was secured through bonds.
The Valley View Hospital Foundation also hosted the inaugural Rally the Valley event on Oct. 13, which drew walkers and cyclists from throughout the valley in spite of a cold and rainy day. The event was designed to honor and support cancer patients and survivors.
A final phase of the hospital's expansion over the coming year will include a new two-level parking structure where the existing surface parking lot is now located east of the facility.