A unit of Ellis Fischel Cancer Center to be named after late oncologist

Thursday, December 13, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The ambulatory infusion unit in the new home for the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center will be named after the late oncologist Dr. Michael Clinton Perry. 

The ambulatory infusion unit provides a team of oncologists with a focus on caring for patients and their families through top-notch treatment, education and service, according to Hal Williamson, vice chancellor of MU Health Care.

"It is my firm belief that Dr. Perry personified the goals of the AIU and, thus, his name appropriately conveys the spirit of healing for a unit that is an integral part of Ellis Fischel,” Williamson said.

Perry was the medical director and associate cancer center director for clinical and translational research at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, according to a previous Missourian report

"Dr. Perry joined the Mizzou family in 1975 and served as a renowned clinician, educator, researcher and administrator until his passing last year," Williamson said.

MU and the MU Health Care thought the opening of the new cancer center would be the perfect opportunity to honor the memory of Perry, Williamson said. 

The new Ellis Fischel Cancer Center facility and seven story patient care tower are on budget and on track to open in March of 2013, according to Colin Planalp, media relations coordinator for MU Health Care. 

"The new facility for Ellis Fischel is part of a large expansion of the University Hospital," Planalp said. 

According to Planalp, the budget for the entire seven floor patient care tower is $203 million with $52 million allocated for the Ellis Fischel part of the facility and spending is within budget so far. 

The patient care tower will have six operating rooms and 90 private rooms with the first two floors being the home of the new Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, according to MU Health Care's website

"Right now we're nearing completion on the construction for the Ellis Fischel portion," Planalp said. "The construction crew is moving in furniture, hanging artwork and beginning to install medical equipment."

One of the pieces of artwork in the cancer center was donated by Joanne and Jerry Berneche, who are artists in Columbia. The Berneche's have received awards for their work together and individually

"I am a patient at Ellis Fischel and when my oncologist, Dr. Perry, passed away his patients were sent a letter asking if they wished to contribute to his memorial," Joanne Berneche said. "He had a wonderful sense of humor and his daughter traveled with us (her and Jerry) on our first trip to Florence, Italy."

So, she responded by offering a painting for the new cancer center. 

Two or three representatives from the hospital came to the Berneche's home to look at their art and ended up choosing a beautiful spring landscape by Jerry, Joanne Berneche said.

The painting is a watercolor of a wooded Missouri landscape called "The Secret Place," Planalp said. 

"If you're sitting in the waiting room not knowing whether your cancer has come back, it's very soothing to look at," Joanne Berneche said.

Supervising editor is Zach Murdock.

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Mike Martin December 13, 2012 | 9:25 a.m.

Dr. Perry is an excellent choice for this naming honor. Here's my family's take on why:

REMEMBERING: Dr. Michael Perry, personal lifesaver and Columbia treasure

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