GREAT FALLS — A $6 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust will help Central Montana Medical Center (CMMC) in Lewistown by funding a comprehensive cancer center, filling a coverage gap across nine rural counties in central Montana.
A news release says that the $8.9 million project will provide high-quality cancer care closer to home for nearly 50,000 central Montana residents, adding: "The CMMC cancer center will help relieve the stress and burden of patients and families who currently travel up to 220 miles, sometimes five days a week, to Great Falls or Billings for diagnoses, radiation treatments and other services."
CMMC plans to break ground on the center in the spring of 2022 with the goal of opening by Summer 2023.
CMMC plans to add a full-time oncologist in partnership with Billings Clinic Cancer Center, a part-time radiation oncologist and a linear accelerator machine. The center will contribute $1.9 million to the project, and the CMMC Foundation plans to raise $1 million through a community capital campaign.
“The Helmsley Charitable Trust has a made a distinct commitment to strengthen health care in rural locations, and access to cancer care services is a well-documented need in the Lewistown area,” said Walter Panzirer, a Helmsley Trustee. “We know how important it is to receive great care close to home where family and friends can provide much needed support. We are excited to see this project take shape.”
“I appreciate the CMMC Foundation’s great success of the 3D Mammography capital campaign,” said Cody Langbehn, Central Montana Medical Center’s CEO. “The Cancer Center fundraising will dovetail in nicely.”