In Summit County people look out for one another. It’s nearly impossible to grocery shop without running into friends and familiar faces. Perhaps its our shared love for the great outdoors, but we know how important it is to help each other – particularly in times of need.
Sometimes it’s easy to be helpful and have fun at the same time! On March 5th, nearly 1,000 participants got out their snowshoes for the annual Snowshoe for the Cure event at the Frisco Nordic Center. They raised nearly $43,000 for the Susan B. Komen foundation, upping the total raised over the event’s thirteen years to $2.9 million.
A less competitive fundraiser that benefits the American Cancer Society will see its fourth year in Summit County this September. Dog owners bring their dogs along for the scenic Bark For Life fundraising walk.
Although cancer is certainly not the only cause the community gathers around, its dedication to raising those funds and awareness may have contributed to the local hospital’s decision to add a new cancer treatment center.
The first step toward providing such care will take effect by the end of March, 2016. Front range Doctor Russell Tolley, M.D. and his Nurse Practitioner will provide weekly chemotherapy and infusion treatments at the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. The team agreed to be available three days per week if needed.
Paul Chodkowski, the hospital’s CEO, is committed to investing in comprehensive care. His full plan is to create a specialty care and infusion treatment center that will provide chemotherapy, intravenous hydration, antibiotic/blood infusions, and pain management with holistic options available. Care will be provided by a rotation of specialists in endocrinology, breast-care and retinal focus.
The hospital is hoping to find enough financial backers and raise enough money to account for $750,000 of the $1.3 million building cost. A loan will account for the remaining balance. Funding should be complete by May and the project should be complete by fall, 2016.
This treatment center will be the first of its kind in the area. Local patients have been enduring treacherous drives to receive care in Vail or Denver. A caretaker or loved one often accompanies the patient who doesn’t have the strength to drive after eight-hours of exhausting treatments. Bringing care closer to home will alleviate much of the unnecessary stress associated with traveling for care.
Advantages of the new treatment center are three-fold. First and foremost, it will allow patients to stay in the area close to loved ones. Second, the center will offer cutting-edge methods, including DNA-specific and genetically-tagged drugs. Third, the emergency hospital will now provide seamless care on-site from diagnosis through recovery.
The comfort of care will be enhanced by a healing aesthetic with warm colors, wood details, a stone fireplace, and rooms overlooking Lake Dillon and Buffalo Mountain. Although it is unclear how many locals are in need of this kind of treatment center, a hospital representative explained that the $1.3 million project is “more about sense than dollars.”