Monday, June 30, 2014 - Winchester Medical Center Kicks Off Capital Campaign for New Cancer Center

Foundation Has Raised More Than Half of $10 Million Goal 

Winchester, Va. - 
Winchester Medical Center launched the public phase of a $10 million capital campaign for a new Cancer Center today in the parking lot of the Diagnostic Center, which overlooks the site of the planned facility on the north side of the WMC campus.  

According to Honorary Campaign Chair James R. Wilkins, Jr., the 18-month long “silent” phase of the fundraising campaign has been very successful.  Since December 2012, Wilkins and honorary co-chair, Harry F. Byrd, III, have led the effort that raised nearly $7 million, including up to $2 million in unrestricted gifts to the WMC Foundation over the next five years.  Jason Aikens of the Aikens Group, and Bill Buettin of United Bank are co-chairing the campaign’s community phase.

The Cancer Center will bring all outpatient oncology services under one roof, including physician offices, exam rooms, and treatment areas for chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical oncology, clinical research, and support services. The facility will connect directly with the existing Diagnostic Center, making follow-up imaging and lab tests more convenient.

“This facility will give us the opportunity to care for our patients in the best possible way, surrounded by family and a nurturing environment,” said Suanne Thurman-Gersdorf, Vice President of Corporate Service Lines. “Our goal is to deliver the best care available anywhere, factoring in each individual’s disease and how best to eliminate or stall its progress, right here, near home.”

On the grounds of the new Cancer Center a healing garden will offer a place for rest and respite for patients and their families.

Winchester Medical Center’s cancer program has been continuously accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer since 1974. Its first outpatient cancer center opened in 1989, on the ground floor of Medical Office Building 1, adjacent to the Outpatient Diagnostic Center. In the 25 years since, oncology services have expanded to meet growing demand. Wellspring, WMC’s cancer resource center, opened off-site on Amherst Street in 2006, with ongoing support from the WMC Foundation.   New services such as surgical oncology, stereotactic radiosurgery, genetic counseling, and clinical trials have been introduced, and the need for larger space for more coordinated care was clear, particularly with projections that cancer patient volume in our area will increase an average of 5% per year for at least the next six years.

“Cancer patients sometimes face long and difficult treatment and deserve supportive, easily-accessible care for themselves and their family members,” said Kevin Callanan, WMC Foundation Executive Director. “We want patients to know they can get all the services they need in one place with compassionate staff to support them and their families. My personal gift to the Cancer Center campaign memorializes my mom who lost her battle with cancer last year. I can’t think of a better way to honor her memory than to help create a place that will inspire hope for so many others on their journey with cancer.”

The Cancer Center Capital Campaign will raise an additional $3 million in gifts for the new Cancer Center.  Numerous naming opportunities are available for those who are interested. For further information, contact Jenny Grooms, Director of Development at the WMC Foundation at 540-536-2387, or email   For more information about the Cancer Center Capital Campaign, or to donate online, please visit