June 6, 2004
Contact: Editor, Mobile Press Register
Cancer Center to Boost Area Economy and Health Care
(Reprinted from Editorial in Mobile Press Register dated June 6, 2004)
New generous private donations for the proposed University of South Alabama cancer research institute, coupled with local, state and federal funding, can make the worthy center a reality for Mobile.
University officials say they could be ready to take bids for the $40 million building's construction in September, with groundbreaking as early as October. It is good news, indeed, that bricks and mortar may soon bring the university's plans to life.
One private donor is giving $2 million and a group of three family members have pledged $10 million, the university recently announced. None was identified, in accordance with the donors' wishes.
Mobile city and county leaders will help, too. Their combined $12 million investment would be justified because the center can provide jobs, improve the area's health care, and bring national recognition to Mobile.
USA, for its part, has done a superb job in raising the necessary funds for cancer research. When the latest donations were announced, the university already had secured $46 million from direct federal appropriation, state economic development funding, USA Foundation donations and other sources.
Once the institute opens, USA can compete for multimillion-dollar research grants that will benefit the local economy. a $13 million federal grant two years ago to the cancer institute at the University of Alabama in Birmingham provided biotechnology jobs and spin off businesses for Birmingham.
All in all, the cancer center will be a significant achievement for Mobile.
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