Regional Cancer Center breaks ground on expansion - Cone Health

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Published on October 12, 2010

Regional Cancer Center breaks ground on expansion

The Moses Cone Regional Cancer Center broke ground Monday on a $15 million, 33,000-square-foot expansion and renovation made possible, in part, by nearly $5 million in funding and contributions from the community.

Announcements include the Alight Breast Cancer Center, which will be a new and dedicated breast cancer center made possible through gifts provided by Alight Founder Mary Gorrell Jones and her husband Chuck and Mary Jones’ mother, Sarah Gorrell. The second floor of the expansion will be named the Doris S. Tanger Center for Patient and Family Support in recognition of a $1 million gift from Doris and Stanley Tanger.

The need for a dedicated breast cancer center at the Moses Cone Regional Cancer Center is well established. At least 20 percent of the more than 3,000 cancer cases diagnosed annually or treated within the Moses Cone Health System involve breast cancer.

The new Alight Breast Cancer Center will be an 8,500 square foot dedicated breast cancer center that allows care for breast cancer patients to be coordinated in a private, centralized location. Located on the first floor of the addition, it will contain medical staff offices, exam rooms and waiting areas for breast cancer patients and families. Many of the volunteers working at the new Alight Breast Cancer Center will include breast cancer survivors who have experienced similar issues and questions.

Founded by Mary Gorrell Jones in 2005, Alight is a non-profit organization that strives to help turn the “darkness” of dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis into the “light” of hope. The organization provides financial, educational and emotional support to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and their families.

“When you are diagnosed with breast cancer, there are so many challenges to be met – emotional and social issues, treatment options and life-altering decisions – and our goal is to help ease the fear, panic and disbelief felt by new patients so they can get on with the business of healing,” said Mary Gorrell Jones, Alight founder. “The new Alight Breast Cancer Center at Moses Cone Regional Cancer Center will allow Alight to grow and expand services to become a beacon of hope for any breast cancer patient in need.”

Jones and her mother are breast cancer survivors. She established Alight to provide resources so that others diagnosed with breast cancer could be better informed about treatment options and what to expect. She also wanted to make sure each patient and family had a support network to help them through the difficult time ahead.
The second floor Doris S. Tanger Center for Patient and Family Support will include a 100-seat auditorium and a 54-seat classroom, as well as a cancer library and offices for pastoral care, social work, genetics, psychology and nutrition counseling.

Additional features of the $15 million expansion and renovation include a rooftop garden and renovated chemotherapy, laboratory and pharmacy areas, requiring $10 million in healthcare system investment as well as the $5 million in individual and community organization contributions.

“We are very appreciative of the community’s role in making this expansion possible, especially given this economic environment,” said Jim Whiting, Vice President of Oncology, Moses Cone Health System. “Today, thanks to the generosity of many people who rallied around this need, we are breaking new ground on an expansion that will allow us to keep pace with advances in cancer treatment while also supporting the educational and counseling needs of the growing numbers of patients seeking help from our state-of-the-art cancer center.”

Completion of the Regional Cancer Center expansion and renovation project is expected by the end of 2011. The project will add 20,000 square feet of new construction and will include 16,000 square feet of renovations to existing space.

Architects for the expansion are Wilkerson Associates Architects of Charlotte, a firm that has specialized in the planning and design of healthcare facilities with projects throughout the Southeast since 1977.

Rentenbach Constructors Inc., a construction services firm that provides general contracting, design-build, and construction management services in a variety of market sectors, including healthcare, will serve as general contractor on the expansion and renovation. The company serves clients throughout the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest from offices in Tennessee, North Carolina and Texas.


Services of the Moses Cone Regional Cancer Center include surgical and gynecological oncology programs, North Carolina's first inpatient Hospice unit, an oncology inpatient nursing unit, an oncology dental program and a dedicated inpatient oncology rehabilitation program. The Regional Cancer Center's outpatient services include radiation oncology, chemotherapy, blood product transfusions and procedures, and the Risk Assessment Clinic for genetic screening.

Located adjacent to Wesley Long Community Hospital, the Regional Cancer Center has been designated a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The Center participates in research programs as an affiliate of the Southeastern Cancer Control Consortium as well as National Cancer Center-approved clinical research projects, which allows cancer patients access to the newest developments in cancer treatment and care.

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