April 8, 2005
Contact: Jennifer Ekman, 460-6360

Groundbreaking for USA Cancer Research Institute Schedule for
April 11 at 11 a.m.
Federal, State and Local Leaders Set to Attend

Federal, state and local political and civic leaders will attend the groundbreaking of the University of South Alabama Cancer Research Institute at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 11. The event will be held adjacent to USA Knollwood Hospital at 5600 Girby Road.

"This is a great milestone for the University, the state of Alabama and the entire Gulf Coast region," said USA President Gordon Moulton. "It will give people the opportunity to receive exceptional cancer care near home.

"This is the single most ambitious research endeavor in the University's history, and we expect to achieve unprecedented success in our community's fight against cancer. The ultimate goal is longer, healthier lives for all the people of our region," he said.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the state-of-the-art, 100,000-square-foot cancer center will include speeches by expected guests Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions, U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, retired U.S. Rep. Sonny Callahan, Mobile Mayor Mike Dow, Mobile County Commission President Mike Dean, state Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, state Rep. Victor Gaston, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce President Win Hallett, USA Board of Trustees Chairman Don Langham, USA Foundation Chairman Dr. Asa Green and USA Cancer Research Institute Director Dr. Michael Boyd.

The USA Cancer Research Institute building, which will include both treatment and research areas, will open in mid-2006. The new cancer center's goal is to save lives, while improving the local economy through cancer treatment and research.

The USA Cancer Research Institute will translate into 700 jobs and $1 billion in economic impact over the next decade. Political and business leaders support the USA project as an economic sparkplug and a way to offer local cancer patients cutting-edge treatment close to home.

Gov. Riley said the USA Cancer Research Institute is a vital way to secure top-notch health care for residents of the Gulf Coast , as well as provide a stable, vibrant economic-development base for the future.

"We have always had the opinion in Alabama that if you want economic development, you have to go out and literally buy it from foreign countries," Riley said. "I think what we need to do is make those kind of economic investments in things like the University of South Alabama . It serves the geographic area where we need that kind of research center and treatment center."

Sen. Shelby said the USA Cancer Research Institute is important for the cancer patients across the region.

"As a cancer survivor, I know firsthand the importance of this regional center," said Shelby, who was instrumental in securing more than $32 million for the USA Cancer Research Institute. "Here they will study the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer, as well as provide the upper Gulf Coast with greater local access to state-of-the-art cancer treatment."

USA leaders have crafted a $100 million budget for the Institute through fiscal year 2008 that includes funds from research grants, patient care, state economic development funds, private gifts, city and county support, the USA Foundation, federal support and the USA tobacco settlement.

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