CLEARFIELD – Nearly one year ago to the day, Clearfield and surrounding communities saw ground break on the Nathaniel D. Yingling, M.D. Cancer Center. On a rainy and brisk October night, the community once again saw a momentous occasion with the ribbon-cutting for the center.
Thanks to a partnership between Clearfield Hospital and DuBois Regional Medical Center, the building, which houses Clearfield Hospital’s Medical Oncology program and Radiation Oncology through a collaborative relationship with Hahne Regional Cancer Center in DuBois, the center, will begin to treat patients in early December.
“I think we’ve all known somebody who’s been affected by cancer or maybe some of us have been affected by cancer, and in either case, we know that the toll that cancer takes on us both physically and emotionally,” said Robert B. Murray III, president and CEO of Clearfield Hospital.
The center was constructed after a two-phase fundraising campaign called Heart of Our Valley that raised $4 million.
“The overwhelming support that was shown by the community in that campaign illustrates how much people in this region care about each other and about conquering one of the major health threats in this region, and that is cancer.”
The namesake for the center began practicing in 1949 and brought the latest surgical techniques to Clearfield Hospital while he was chief of surgery from 1958-80.
C. Alan Walker, chairman of Clearfield Area Health Services, said he has seen tremendous growth at the Clearfield Hospital over the years with a community relationship built on “trust, commitment and quality service.”
“To prepare for its second century, in January 1997, the hospital developed a comprehensive plan to meet the region’s most common life-threatening health risk with resources close to home,” Walker said.
At that time, five priorities were identified: pediatric care, vascular surgery, outpatient rehabilitation, outpatient psychiatry and a cancer treatment center. A sixth was later added, dialysis. All six have been established since the idea came about.
Dr. Leonard F. Schickling also spoke, thanking the community for its support not only in the capital campaign, but also in utilizing the hospital for services.
Schickling said that although the fund drive is over and the building is ready for use, the hard part lies ahead. “That is, to run a program that (Dr. Nathaniel) ‘Rip’ Yingling would be proud of.”
Ruth Yingling, wife of the late doctor, said, “My family and I are extremely grateful to have this building named in honor of my late husband.”
The center is staffed by Dr. Amer S. Khouri and Dr. Joseph Pederson along with nurses and other professionals.
“It is a great day for Clearfield,” Ruth Yingling said.
GantDaily Editor’s Note: A public open house is scheduled for Saturday (Oct. 28) from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.