Duncan Optimistic About Center’s Future

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The Lawton Consitution

Published: July 12, 2006

BY JARED KALTWASSER
STAFF WRITER

DUNCAN — Morning rains forced community members at Duncan Regional Hospital to seek shelter underneath a tent or their own umbrellas. Still, nothing could dampen the optimism as the hospital broke ground on its new Southwest Oklahoma Cancer Center.

“Someone mentioned to me that it truly is unheard of for three organizations, even though we are all non-profit, to work together like we have,” said Scott Street, chief executive officer of Duncan Regional Hospital. “I agree with that statement.”

Dr. Mittie Dragosljvich, medical director for the radiology department at Comanche County Memorial Hospital, said the level of technology the Duncan center will offer is not the norm for a community of that size.

“Typically, to have a full-fledged, full-time cancer program … you would need 100,000 people to support that,” he said. “Yes, it would be a little bit unusual to have this degree of technology in an area like Duncan.”

Dragosljvich said he regularly has patients drive to Lawton every day for the five-to-six-week radiation sessions from as far away as Hollis, Duke and Blair.

The day was especially meaningful for the numerous cancer survivors in attendance.

Marilyn McEnroe was one of four honorary shovel-wielders. The new center’s Linear Accelerator Room will be named in her honor. Major donors in attendance included Dave LeNorman of Crusader Energy, with $1 million donated toward the center, and Tom McCasland III who, with his wife, Monica, joined with the McCasland Foundation to give another $1 million. Chesapeake Energy also donated $250,000. The center will be named the Taylor LeNorman/McCasland Cancer Center in honor of LeNorman’s daughter, a cancer victim, and the McCasland family.