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$15 million Norris gift funds USC cancer care

$15 Million Norris Gift Funds USC Cancer Care
From left, Peter Jones, Stephen Gruber, Harlyne Norris and William Corey

USC has announced an expansion of cancer care facilities made possible by a $15 million donation from the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation.

The gift will support construction on the USC Health Sciences campus of a new outpatient clinic building that will be named the Norris Healthcare Consultation Center. The building will feature leading-edge technology and house multidisciplinary clinics focusing on cancer care, including areas for radiation therapy, imaging and infusion therapy.

The Norris Foundation’s long history of support for the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and USC Norris Cancer Hospital has helped to create one of the premier cancer centers in the nation. With this latest gift, the foundation reaffirms its continuing commitment to making cancer a disease of the past.

“Having had a long and successful relationship with both USC and the Keck School of Medicine, we’ve seen how cancer patients are treated much more on an outpatient basis than they used to be,” said Harlyne Norris, trustee and past chairman of the foundation. “This new facility will transform the way people with cancer are treated today and in the future. We’re very privileged to be able to help keep USC on the cutting edge of cancer treatment.”

The $15 million donation from the Norris Foundation is the lead gift toward the new building. The gift will be augmented by additional philanthropic support that will be raised as part of the $6 billion Campaign for the University of Southern California.

“We are very grateful to the Norris family and foundation for their unwavering support of our fight against cancer and long-standing commitment to USC,” said USC president C. L. Max Nikias. “Harlyne Norris has been an exemplary trustee and key adviser to me. This generous gift will bolster our ability to set new standards in cancer care, not only in Los Angeles but in our region and beyond.”

The proposed site of the new clinical building is an area currently used as a surface parking lot, bounded by USC’s Healthcare Consultation Center I to the south and Healthcare Consultation Center II to the west. Planning for the new building currently is under way.

The overall strategy for the expansion and development of clinical, research and educational space on the Health Sciences campus was set out in a master plan approved by the USC Board of Trustees on Jan. 26, 2011. This long-range development strategy looks forward to 2035, and over that time span, space devoted to patient care is planned to nearly double – from just over 1 million square feet to more than 2 million. This dramatic expansion represents a measure of the university’s investment in the future health of the people of Los Angeles and the surrounding community.

USC officials noted that this latest gift from the Norris Foundation is evidence of the growth and impact of the newly named Keck Medical Center of USC and its commitment to improve and expand services for patients.

“We are deeply grateful for this gift that will allow us to grow and continue to provide the most advanced, personalized, intimate care for our patients,” said Stephen Gruber, director of the Norris cancer center. “The Norris gift will provide a world-class outpatient facility that matches the world-class talent of our physicians, nurses, and staff and the care they provide to our patients.”

Outpatient care for cancer patients currently is provided in the Norris Cancer Hospital in a building designed in the late 1970s and dedicated in 1983. Moving ambulatory cancer care, along with other special services, to the new Norris Healthcare Consultation Center will facilitate the delivery of the highest level of patient service in a dedicated, state-of-the-art clinical building.

“Over 30 years ago, Kenneth Norris Jr. provided the visionary gift and inspiration to assist USC in securing the National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant to establish one of the nation’s original NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers and hospital – in his words ‘to make cancer a disease of the past’,” said William Corey, trustee and medical consultant for the Norris Foundation. “The trustees continue to honor that commitment.”

The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation established in 1963 and based in Long Beach. The foundation has a long and extensive history of giving to USC, beginning with the philanthropic work of Eileen and Kenneth True Norris, who funded the Norris Medical Library, the Eileen L. Norris Cinema Theatre and the Norris Dental Center at USC. The latest gift brings the foundation’s total giving to nearly $200 million.

“State-of-the-art cancer research and treatment is incredibly important to the Keck School of Medicine’s mission of medical education, research discovery and patient care,” said Carmen A. Puliafito, dean of the Keck School. “We are confident this new facility will fortify USC’s position as a trusted leader in health care and medical research.”

The Keck Medical Center of USC includes Keck Hospital of USC and Norris Cancer Hospital, as well as USC’s 500-physician faculty practice.

Norris Cancer Hospital is one of only a few facilities in Southern California built exclusively for cancer research and patient care. Physicians and staff offer patients advanced multidisciplinary cancer care. The close affiliation between the hospital and the Norris cancer center offers immediate benefits to patients seeking the latest breakthroughs in cancer prevention and treatment, including access to innovative technology and clinical trials.

The Norris cancer center was established in 1971 and has benefited from continuous recognition and funding from the National Cancer Institute since 1973 when it was named one of the original eight comprehensive cancer centers. It is one of only 40 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country.

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