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July 6, 2011

Donor Wall is Dedicated at Simmons Cancer Institute

A donor wall celebrating the names of more than 100 individuals, organizations and businesses has been dedicated at Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.

More than $13 million in funding committed to programs and research at Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is represented on the wall.  It is located in the north corridor on the first floor of the cancer institute at 315 W. Carpenter.

“The funding commitment embodied on this donor wall is perhaps the greatest testimony to the care and treatment provided by the physicians and staff at Simmons Cancer Institute,” said Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, SIU dean and provost.

SCI has 11 cancer care teams including breast, colorectal, head and neck, hematology oncology, lung, melanoma, neuro-oncology, pediatric, prostate and psycho-oncology.  A clinical trials research office is also based in the building.

“The support signified on this wall for the programs and research being done at Simmons Cancer Institute is tremendous, spanning across the 70-plus counties we serve,” said Dr. K. Thomas Robbins, SCI director.  “I believe we have joined together as one community in our efforts, providing health education, institute cancer prevention strategies and clinical services and research to the people of our region.”

The largest contribution to Simmons Cancer Institute, $10.2 million was donated by the Simmons Family Foundation and the Simmons Firm of East Alton in November 2005.  The Simmons Firm is one of the nation’s leading asbestos litigation firms.

Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU was named in appreciation for that philanthropic support.

"On behalf of my wife, Jayne, and our partners and co-workers at the Simmons Law Firm, I want you to know how honored we are to have played a part in bringing this magnificent facility to life.  And as a firm rooted in helping cancer victims, we are especially proud to be recognized on your wall and to be affiliated with this institute," said John Simmons, the firm's chairman and CEO.

Constructed from a cherry base with reverse etched zinc logo plates, the wall was designed by Metal Décor, Springfield.  It is 11 feet by 5 feet.  Donor levels on the wall recognize lifetime giving to the Cancer Institute and range from $2,500 to more than $1 million.

The wall also features illustrations of Simmons Cancer Institute, patient care and scenes on the grounds of the building including the Thomas Garden of Hope.

The mission of the Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer care needs through education, research, patient care and community service. Its website is