Tahoe Forest cancer center project officially breaks ground | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Forest cancer center project officially breaks ground

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

Submitted to jshueh@sierrasun.comFrom left, Roger Kahn, Tahoe Forest Hospital District board member; Ken Cutler, MD, MPH, Tahoe Forest board member; Karen Sessler, MD, Tahoe Forest board member; Bob Schapper, Tahoe Forest Health System chief executive officer; and Randy Hill, Measure C fundraising chairman, break ground last Thursday in Truckee.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; October winds bristling into a gray afternoon werenand#8217;t enough to discourage a small crowd of well wishers Thursday from gathering and#8212; albeit in a huddled and bundled fashion and#8212; at Tahoe Forest Hospital to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new cancer center, 24-hour emergency rooms and nursing facilities.

Dubbed the Measure C Groundbreaking Ceremony, Tahoe Forest Hospital District invited community leaders and residents to commemorate the passing of the voter-approved measure and the projectand#8217;s construction start.

After gathering the pages of his speech and#8212; tossed into the audience by a stray gust of wind and#8212; Measure C Fundraising Chairman Randy Hill spoke to thank all of the many contributors who made construction possible.

and#8220;We give many thanks to voters, campaign donors and volunteers who understand the need for continuous advancements and#8212; along with enhancements and#8212; for providing the highest caliber health care in our rural community,and#8221; Hill said. and#8220;Measure C passed with an overwhelming 72 percent voter support.and#8221;

Voters OKand#8217;d the $98 million bond measure in September 2007.

Hill said exhaustive analysis had been performed by dedicated volunteers to assure the new facilities were the desire of the community.

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While crediting voters and the many dedicated staff who oversaw the campaign, Hill singled out Maia Schneider, the districtand#8217;s director of community development, as one of the key players to the campaignand#8217;s momentum.

and#8220;Yes, I was the chair, but I understand now that I was just the eye candy,and#8221; Hill said with a laugh, crediting Schneider. and#8220;But at my age there is nothing wrong with being eye candy.and#8221;

and#8220;He promised he wouldnand#8217;t mention my name,and#8221; said Schneider, laughing with Hill.

The afternoon ceremony also included a speech from Tahoe Forestand#8217;s Chief Executive Officer Bob Schapper and Tahoe Forest Hospital District board member Roger Kahn.

Kahn viewed the groundbreaking as a fundamental step forward in cancer care, long-term care and women and infant care, along with improved emergency facilities.

and#8220;It was back in the spring 2006 when the vision for Measure C projects started to take place. Looking at the priorities and needs for our community, the construction of a new cancer center is the first step in meeting these needs,and#8221; Kahn said. and#8220;You can see this vision taking shape now as you drive past the hospital.and#8221;

If all goes according to plan, the two-story, 34,235-square-foot cancer center could be done by 2012, according to the hospital district.