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Huntsman Cancer Institute Grows to More than a Million Square Feet of State-of-the-Art Cancer Space with Opening of $178 Million Kathryn F. Kirk Center

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Rendering of the exterior of the Kathryn F. Kirk Center

New Center Offers Increased Treatments and Screenings for Gynecologic and Breast Cancers, Bone and Marrow Transplants, and Endoscopy Procedures

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah (the U), the only place in the region devoted to developing new treatments for cancer, announced the opening of the Kathryn F. Kirk Center for Comprehensive Cancer Care and Women’s Cancers today. 

The Kathryn F. Kirk Center has an entire floor dedicated to breast and gynecologic cancers and additional space for the sophisticated treatment of blood and marrow transplant patients, including immunotherapies and clinical trial options that are only available at a handful of hospitals in the United States. New screening resources will provide patients in the fastest growing region of the country with lifesaving tools to detect cancers earlier. Huntsman Cancer Institute experts are among the best in the world at identifying cancers in their earliest stages when it's easier to treat. 

"We are so grateful to our dedicated staff at Huntsman Cancer Institute for their countless hours helping plan and design this cutting-edge facility,” says Mary Beckerle, PhD, CEO of Huntsman Cancer Institute. “Our patients will now have expanded access to advanced medical technology, superior cancer care, clinical trials, and research. We are privileged to lead the charge in delivering a cancer-free frontier."

In addition to more space for screenings, including colonoscopy and mammography, patients will have access to more than 325 innovative clinical trials. Forty-eight inpatient hospital rooms increase capacity by nearly 50%, and four new state-of-the-art operating rooms will enhance the ability to perform sophisticated cancer surgeries.

“Many generous donors came together to make this latest expansion of Huntsman Cancer Institute possible,” says Peter Huntsman, chairman and CEO of Huntsman Cancer Foundation. “The Kathryn F. Kirk Center assures that the people of Utah and surrounding areas have access to the world’s best cancer research and patient care delivered by highly trained experts in all types of cancer.” 

Cancer care is truly comprehensive, and this new center will increase the impact of the Huntsman Cancer Institute Wellness & Integrative Health Center by 1,936 square feet. Massage therapy, nutrition education, and personalized strength and recovery programs are just some of the many offerings specially designed to enhance and complement the care provided to patients. 

“Cancer touches every family, and ours is no different. We lost my mother, Kathryn, to cancer,” says Spencer Kirk, son of Kathryn F. Kirk. “She spent her life in service to her family and her community. That spirit guides our family, and we are honored to help further the mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute. The Kathryn F. Kirk Center is only possible because of a community of donors who joined our family to make this comprehensive cancer center a reality.”

Huntsman Cancer Institute raised more than $128 million in philanthropic support for this expansion. The major donors include the Spencer and Kristen Kirk family, Huntsman Foundation, Karen and Scott Smith, The Sigma Chi International Fraternity, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and dōTERRA. More than 275 individual gifts helped make the building possible.

“Huntsman Cancer Institute and University of Utah Health are leading the way, together, in offering compassionate care without compromise. Our health system serves patients from the fastest-growing region in the country,” says Michael Good, MD, CEO of University of Utah Health. “The Kathryn F. Kirk Center expansion helps ensure we can continue to meet the needs of our patients in the future and excel in eradicating cancer.” 

The center is committed to providing a healing environment for individuals and their families affected by cancer. Visitors can experience the beauty and diversity of American Indian art while taking a break from treatment. The 160 objects are part of the Jon M. and Karen Huntsman family collection, one of the most extensive displays of modern and contemporary American Indian art. Highlighting more than 25 Indigenous Nations, the collection includes weavings, basketry, wearables, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, sculptures, and carvings. The Kathryn F. Kirk Center was specially designed to house this art collection with the intent to surround patients in beauty, to promote hope, and to highlight art integrally connected to the people and landscapes of the region and beyond. 

“Research is the foundation of cancer care, and Huntsman Cancer Institute is the only place in the region paving the way for new cancer treatments,” says Taylor Randall, PhD, president of the U. “The new center is a testament to our commitment to eradicate cancer and allows us to continue providing comprehensive care to our patients and communities.”

Architects with Arch Nexus designed the new cancer hospital, and Layton Construction crews built it. It is located on the north end of Huntsman Cancer Institute and is connected to the existing facility by sky bridges. 

“The new center is a tremendous asset to the people of Utah, taking us to the forefront of cancer treatment and research worldwide,” says Utah Governor Spencer Cox. “Huntsman Cancer Institute is nationally recognized for its contributions to eradicating this disease and this expansion is a critical step forward in Utah’s work in curing cancer.”

The first outpatient visit is scheduled to take place on June 5, with inpatient care beginning on June 21. Members of the public are invited to view the new center at a community open house to be held this evening, Monday, May 8 from 4-7 pm.

Media Contact

Heather Simonsen
Public Relations
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Email Us
801 581-3194

About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah (the U) is the National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center for Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming. With a legacy of innovative cancer research, groundbreaking discoveries, and world-class patient care, we are transforming the way cancer is understood, prevented, diagnosed, treated, and survived. Huntsman Cancer Institute focuses on delivering a cancer-free frontier to all communities in the area we serve. We have more than 300 open clinical trials and 250 research teams studying cancer at any given time. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at Huntsman Cancer Institute than at any other cancer center. Our scientists are world-renowned for understanding how cancer begins and using that knowledge to develop innovative approaches to treat each patient’s unique disease. Huntsman Cancer Institute was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.

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