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SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute Exterior

April 8, 2009

SIU Med School to Receive Cancer Institute Funding

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute (SCCI) officials announced that the $250,000 in funding approved by Governor Patrick Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly in the Fiscal Year 2009 supplemental appropriation will permit the School of Medicine to take the final steps to open the new SCCI facility this summer.

“We are grateful that the General Assembly and Governor Quinn have supported the funding to take the next steps to open this comprehensive cancer facility at SIU School of Medicine.  This will give us a tremendous impetus in our effort to develop a world-class cancer center, with sophisticated medical treatment options complemented by patient-focused research. We can then push forward in expanding the cancer services available to the people of Illinois this summer,” said Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, dean and provost of SIU School of Medicine.

Dorsey specifically thanked Governor Quinn, Senate President John Cullerton, House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno and House Republican Leader Tom Cross for their leadership.  He also thanked State Senators Larry Bomke and Deanna Demuzio, and Representatives Raymond Poe and Rich Brauer for their continuing and ongoing support of the Institute.

"We must never surrender the fight against cancer," said Governor Pat Quinn. "In Illinois, that battle will be advanced with the opening of this new facility."

The $250,000 contained in the supplemental appropriation approved recently will fund the final stages of preparing the building for opening, including: the final testing of HVAC systems and automated controls; final cleaning of the entire facility by professionals to assure readiness for clinical services to patients with compromised immune system conditions; final testing of air quality; hiring and training of security, housekeeping, and grounds staff needed to maintain and secure the facility; development of a moving schedule, related contracts and patient schedule coordination.

Located at 315 W. Carpenter Street, the three-story SIU Cancer Institute will consolidate most of the School's multi-disciplinary cancer clinics, now located in several hospital buildings, along with outreach services and research.  Cancer research grants have been awarded in excess of $14 million since the Institute’s inception.

“The Governor and the General Assembly have made an important investment in the future of cancer research, treatment and multi-faceted patient care with the allocation of this funding for the Institute,” said Dr. K. Thomas Robbins, SCCI director.  “The Institute has already grown to 1,200 patient visits a month so consolidating our resources in one location will help us move ahead quickly with the promise of improved cancer care services for Illinoisans.”

Nearly three dozen physician specialists already are working as part of nine cancer care teams at SIU’s Cancer Institute.  Seven of the teams will be based in the building – breast, colorectal, gynecologic oncology, head and neck, hematology/oncology, prostate and lung.  About 55 SIU physician faculty and support staff will be based in the clinical areas of the building.

The SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute at SIU is 63,000 square feet and cost $21.5 million.  It was made possible through a $10.2 million philanthropic gift from SimmonsCooper LLC and the Simmons Family Foundation, announced in November 2005 by John and Jayne Simmons and Jeff Cooper.  The SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute at SIU has been named in appreciation for the contribution.

The Capital Development Board (CDB) managed construction of the building.  It was designed by Hanson Professional Services of Springfield with consultation from BSA Life Structures of Chicago.  Groundbreaking was held in July 2005 and a dedication event was held in July 2008 for the building which was nearing completion at the time.  The Illinois Board of Higher Education approved the proposal for the Institute in April 2000 and the State of Illinois appropriated money in 2001, 2002 and 2005.

The mission of the SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer care needs through medical education, biomedical research and patient service.  Its Web site is and its main phone number is 217-545-6000.



thern Illinois University School of Medicine Office of Public Affairs News Releases P.O. Box 19621, Springfield IL 62794-9621, 217-545-2155