Donors support shared vision for local cancer care

Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation’s biggest ever fundraising campaign has reached a $3 million goal to support the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Center. 

“Campaigns like this strengthen communities by bringing focus and unity to a shared vision,” says CMH President and CEO Erik Thorsen. “We are building a stronger hospital system that will serve patients for the next century.”

The campaign was launched in May 2015 with an announcement of a collaboration by CMH with the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to build a new comprehensive cancer treatment center and specialty clinic in Astoria. 

The campaign leadership included Erik Thorsen; Mike Autio; Jeffrey Leinassar, DMD; and Chair Willis Van Dusen. Over 700 donors (including CMH Board members, leadership, physicians and caregivers) contributed to the effort, with many giving five- and six-figure gifts to lead the way toward providing world-class cancer care in the Lower Columbia Region.

Making an impact

Presently, cancer patients who require radiation therapy must travel at least an hour to receive treatment. Since radiation therapy is generally administered for five consecutive days and can continue for eight weeks, this grueling regimen of travel and treatment is very difficult for patients and their families. Because of this, some patients choose to opt out of radiation treatment — a life-threatening choice. 

It’s amazing what can happen when community members come together to achieve a goal. We have a lot yet to do to secure the future of the cancer center — namely, building an endowment to make sure the program is viable well into the future!

Major contributors

  • Karen and Steve Allen
  • Dr. William and Deborah Armington
  • The Autio Family
  • The City of Astoria
  • The CMH Auxiliary
  • The Englund Family
  • William Greer
  • The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation/Jordan Schnitzer
  • Katherine E. Helberg
  • The Henningsgaard Family
  • The Leinassar Family
  • The Lum Family
  • The M.J. Murdock Trust
  • The Nygaard Family
  • The Oregon Community Foundation
  • Dr. Sonny and Mary Park
  • The Phillips Family Trust
  • The Eloise & Carl Pohlad Family
  • Margaret Rubidoux
  • The Samuel S. Johnson Foundation
  • Paula and Shawn Teevin
  • The Van Dusen Family
  • Constance Waisanen

“We hope our supporters feel great pride in what they have partnered with us to achieve,” says Penny Cowden, Executive Director of the CMH Foundation. “We are so grateful to everyone whose generosity and investment is helping bring such excellent cancer care to those who need it.”