The writer is director of the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center.
Through strong leadership and generous community support, Omaha has emerged as a vibrant metropolitan city.
At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, we have world-renowned cancer researchers and clinicians who provide the best cancer care and treatment available.
Together with our hospital partner, the Nebraska Medical Center, we will build a $370 million Cancer Center Campus that will cement Omaha's reputation as a leader in cancer care, create thousands of jobs in the metro area, infuse millions of dollars into state and local economies and save lives. This Cancer Center Campus is necessary to keep the University of Nebraska Medical Center at the forefront of 21st-century discovery and treatment.
We very much appreciate the public/private partnerships that are helping to make this happen. We appreciate the support of the governor, legislators and Douglas County Board members. We also appreciate the support of Mayor Jim Suttle and five council members — Thomas Mulligan, Chris Jerram, Pete Festersen, Ben Gray and Garry Gernandt — for this exciting cancer center project.
We are grateful to city leaders for pursuing visionary ways to invest in a project that will create jobs, improve the city's health and enhance its reputation. The Cancer Center Campus will help do all of these, including providing 4,800 jobs during its construction and 1,200 new jobs at the medical center when it is completed.
The new comprehensive cancer center also will be a transformational project for Nebraskans who have been, or will be, affected by cancer. Gone are the days of a “one size fits all” approach to treatment. Instead, 21st-century care requires that researchers and clinicians work together, using an individual's cancer genetics to devise treatment plans specific to each person who has cancer. The Cancer Center Campus will provide ideal space for this professional interaction, leading to “precision” care that will benefit each patient.
Simply put: The Cancer Center Campus, through 21st-century research and treatment, will save lives, improve the quality of life of cancer patients, create thousands of new jobs and strengthen the tax base for local governments.
It's exactly the right type of investment at the right time for a progressive city such as Omaha.