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$75 million family gift for new cancer center announced by Peter Huntsman
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$75 million family gift for new cancer center announced by Peter Huntsman

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah (the U), a pioneering innovator dedicated to developing more effective ways to care for and prevent cancer, announced plans today for a new Huntsman Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center in Utah County. This second headquarters will be in Vineyard, a growing city embedded in Utah’s tech hub. The plan opens new possibilities for cancer research, prevention, and treatments.

Distance is a major healthcare disparity for cancer patients in Utah and surrounding states. A study by Huntsman Cancer Institute researchers published in Cancer Medicine found that the five-year cancer survival rate for rural Utah residents was 5.2% lower than metropolitan residents. Huntsman Cancer Institute chose this location to serve members of our community closer to where they live, giving hundreds of thousands of Utahns and surrounding state residents improved access to world-class cancer care.

“Huntsman Cancer Institute’s vision is to deliver a cancer-free frontier, and we believe that begins right here in Utah,” says Mary Beckerle, PhD, CEO of Huntsman Cancer Institute. “This expansion of Huntsman Cancer Institute will address the monumental population growth in Utah and reduce the travel burden many patients face every day. Located in one of the fastest growing counties in the country, it will provide easier access to comprehensive cancer care, accelerate cancer research, and train the next generation of cancer providers and scientists.”

The University of Utah and Huntsman Cancer Foundation also announced a major matching gift of $75 million from the Huntsman Foundation. This is the largest single gift by the Jon M. and Karen Huntsman family to Huntsman Cancer Institute since its founding.

This extraordinary donation now initiates a call to the community to join Huntsman Cancer Foundation and raise the matching support needed to move this project forward as quickly as possible.

“This is a bold step forward, mirroring a similar step Jon and Karen Huntsman took establishing Huntsman Cancer Institute 25 years ago,” says Peter Huntsman, chairman and CEO of Huntsman Cancer Foundation. “This new campus is a game-changer, bringing research and specialty cancer care closer to the people of Utah County and surrounding rural areas. But one family cannot do it alone. Similar to our previous expansions, this state-owned project will only be completed with the matching funds from state and local leaders, institutions, and our generous individual contributors.”

Located near several higher education and technical training institutions, the second Huntsman Cancer Institute campus will support workforce development, training opportunities, and hands-on learning for the next generation of scientists and health care providers.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our students and community to contribute in profound ways to delivering care and ending cancer,” says Astrid Tuminez, president of Utah Valley University (UVU). “To believe in what’s possible, no matter the hurdles, is the culture of UVU, which makes training at Huntsman Cancer Institute’s world class research and care facilities an extraordinary opportunity for our students.”

Huntsman Cancer Institute’s signature strength in conquering cancer is research. The institute’s research has resulted in new scientific and technological discoveries that have led to advances in cancer prevention and treatment, extending and improving the lives of patients around the world. The cancer hospital at Huntsman Cancer Institute is ranked in the top 50 nationally out of more than 4,500 programs. It is also part of University of Utah Health, which has ranked in the top 10 nationally for care quality the last 13 years.

“Huntsman Cancer Institute is the only place in the region devoted to discovering new cancer treatments,” says Taylor Randall, president of the University of Utah. “Research is at the heart of what we do at the University of Utah, and it turns the dream of curing cancer into a reality. Research will be a major focus of the new campus, and it will advance our commitment to eradicate cancer, including through design of better ways to provide comprehensive cancer care to more patients across Utah and in particular residents of rural communities.”

The Utah County headquarters will be a part of Vineyard’s growth, creating a rare opportunity to simultaneously plan a community and a cancer center; each co-designed for collaboration, discovery, and health promotion. It will be a 10-minute drive from Provo Municipal Airport, adjacent to Vineyard Frontrunner Station and I-15, and near the picturesque shore of Utah Lake.

“Having this medical life science giant in the heart of our growing technology and innovation center will lead to breakthroughs in science and medicine, paving paths for cutting-edge approaches to cancer research and treatment,” says Julie Fullmer, mayor of Vineyard. “The possibilities are endless. We are so thrilled and share in the excitement of local leaders and patients, that the second Huntsman Cancer Institute headquarters is coming to our city and to Utah County’s largest regional development. The work performed here will save countless lives, connect services to communities, and provide greater access and healing.”

Federal, state, and local leaders have been key contributors to the discussions about this new Huntsman Cancer Institute presence in Utah County.

“I am thrilled about the decision to build the Huntsman Cancer Institute campus in Utah Valley,” says U.S. Congressman John Curtis. “This state-of-the-art facility, located in the heart of Vineyard, Utah, is not just a hospital, but a beacon of hope for our community. It stands as a testament to our commitment to advancing Utah’s role as a national leader in cancer research and care for rural and frontier communities.”

The state of Utah is experiencing major population growth. With over 3.3 million residents currently, this number will grow to 5.2 million residents by 2060. Thirty percent of this growth is expected to occur in Utah County.

“We’re grateful to the Huntsman Cancer Institute and the Huntsman family for expanding access to cancer patients in Utah County and throughout our state,” says Utah Governor Spencer Cox. “This state-of-the-art facility will help thousands of cancer patients and their loved ones as they seek high-quality treatment and support. We are proud to stand in support of this new phase, and side-by-side with each cancer patient in Utah, as we work to bring hope and healing even closer to more communities.”

“From the beginning, Huntsman Cancer Institute centered its efforts on addressing the cancer burden in Utah,” states Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson. “That focus has led to game-changing innovations and an extension of care to people across the globe. This next step will bring research innovations to thousands more in our state and region and will continue to cement Utah’s role as a leader in cancer research and lifesaving care.”

Further details on the project will be outlined in months to come. Construction of the campus is pending further progress in the fundraising effort, and other review processes, including before the Utah Legislature.

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