Mar 01, 2020 8:00 AM


John Ward, MD, Interim Senior Director, Clinical Affairs, Interim Physician-in-Chief Huntsman Cancer Institute
John Ward, MD, Interim Senior Director, Clinical Affairs, Interim Physician-in-Chief Huntsman Cancer Institute

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More than two decades ago, I had the privilege of being a member of the team given an extraordinary opportunity: to work alongside Jon M. and Karen Huntsman and our colleagues at the University of Utah to transform the way we deliver cancer care in Utah. We set out to do something once thought impossible. We set out to develop a world-class cancer hospital and research center—Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI).

We began with outpatient clinics that opened in 1999. A state-of-the-art cancer hospital opened in 2004. A major addition in 2011 expanded our ability to care for patients in our region. This incredible pace continues today: In 2019, we broke ground on another major expansion of the cancer hospital. The 220,000 square feet of new space will ensure we can serve surrounding communities for years to come. In late 2020, I look forward to standing alongside my colleagues as we open the region’s first and only Center for Proton Therapy—a resource that currently requires a 10-hour drive to access.

The transformative spirit present at our founding is as strong as ever. The growth of our campus is only one aspect. Thanks to innovative new programs like Huntsman at Home™, we demonstrate how we can provide HCI-quality care in a patient’s own home. A new HCI community clinic at the University of Utah Health Sugar House Health Center helps extend our reach. And a mobile screening program launched in 2019 seeks to prevent cancers by bringing lifesaving screening to people around the state.

With affiliate hospitals in Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, and Colorado, we are making incredible progress in bringing the Huntsman Touch to more people, more conveniently, as we raise the standard of cancer care around our state and region.

I have no doubt that this is only the beginning of what we will accomplish as we continue making a major difference in care for people with cancer and their families, and—whenever possible—preventing cancers from ever occurring.

John Ward, MD
Interim Senior Director, Clinical Affairs
Interim Physician-in-Chief Huntsman Cancer Institute

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