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.

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.