The following is a news release from St. James Health Care.
St. James Healthcare Foundation is pleased to announce the receipt of a $3.59 million gift from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. These funds will be used to help purchase a new Varian Linear Accelerator for the St. James Cancer Center's radiation oncology department and to construct a new vault to house the equipment.
With the new accelerator, the Cancer Center will be able to treat more patients and provide state-of-the-art Rapid Arc therapy, a treatment option not currently available in southwest Montana. Rapid Arc is a technique in which the machine rotates 360 degrees around the patient enabling the very small beams to be aimed at the tumor from multiple angles. The current technology requires the therapist to manually move the machine to alter the radiation field size and shape.
"This is a significant step forward for our Center," said Dr. Marc Nash, St. James Healthcare's radiation oncologist. "It provides us with an advanced treatment option for our patients today, and it also gives us the ability to offer more state-of-the-art options, such as Linear Accelerator Stereotactic Radiosurgery, in the near future."
Construction of the linear accelerator vault will begin in May 2014 with installation of the accelerator anticipated by year end.
"We are very honored to receive this generous gift and together with all the cancer patients in southwest Montana, we thank The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and its trustees for this investment in rural, regional healthcare that will impact so many lives," said St. James Healthcare Foundation Executive Director, Kate Olney.
About St. James Healthcare
St. James Healthcare is the largest health care facility in southwest Montana providing quality care close to home. Accredited by the Joint Commission, St. James offers more than 30 medical specialties and has a 63-member medical staff. Its Cancer Center provides both radiation and medical oncology. For more information, visit stjameshealthcare.org.
About The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in a variety of selected areas. Since 2008, when the Trust began its active grant making, it has committed more than $1 billion to a wide range of charitable organizations. The Trust's Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel. To date, this program has awarded more than $232 million to organizations and initiatives in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana. For more information on the Trust and its programs, please visit www.helmsleytrust.org .