Boone Hospital announces new cancer center

Monday, February 18, 2013 | 1:00 p.m. CST; updated 4:23 p.m. CST, Monday, February 18, 2013
Jerry Kennett, vice president and chief medical officer of Boone Hospital Center, watches a video message by Virginia Stewart during a news conference Monday on the sixth floor of the hospital. Boone Hospital Center announced plans to build the Norman and Virginia Stewart Cancer Center, which will be completed in 2014.

COLUMBIA — Boone Hospital Center will build an all-encompassing cancer treatment center, the Virginia and Norman Stewart Cancer Center, on the sixth floor of its south tower, the hospital announced Monday.

The inpatient unit will cost $7.2 million, and construction will be completed in 2014, said Fred Parry, chairman of the Boone Hospital Center board of trustees. The new unit will include 32 private rooms.

The Norman and Virginia Stewart Cancer Center will encompass all of the hospital’s cancer services, as well as the new inpatient center, according to a news release. The board of trustees has not yet finalized the amount of financial contributions from the Stewarts, Interim President Randy Morrow said.

“Treating cancer is a fight; it’s a battle. It takes strength and endurance, and it takes determination to win,” said Jerry Kennett, vice president and chief medical officer of Boone Hospital Center. “When you think about people from our community who embody these characteristics… I suggest Norm and Virginia Stewart.”

Norm Stewart coached the Missouri men’s basketball team from 1967 to 1999, and had to miss part of the 1989 season when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Stewart later founded the Coaches vs. Cancer organization, which encourages basketball coaches, their teams and communities to increase cancer awareness.

The new inpatient center will make patients feel more at home, said Joseph Muscato, hematologist-medical oncologist.

“Obviously the most important part is getting (patients) better and helping them defeat their cancers,” Muscato said. “But high on the list is the area they have to deal with day in and day out. Having a new cancer floor such as this, with a beautiful view, is very critical to improving the care of our patients.” 

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.

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