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New cancer centers planned in southern Utah

ST. GEORGE — State-of-the-art cancer treatment options are moving closer to home for patients living throughout southern Utah.

Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George recently announced it would be "raising the bar" as a site for a Huntsman-IHC Cancer Center.

"This alliance between Intermountain Health Care and Huntsman Cancer Institute means our cancer patients will have broader access to leading experts, research and treatments," said Dixie Regional administrator Steve Wilson, who also announced his retirement at the end of the year.

Opening the new cancer center under the Huntsman banner carries extra significance for Wilson, who faced his own health battle earlier this year.

Dixie Regional's new cancer center houses chemotherapy and radiation therapy, an extensive library, and the federally-funded Radiation Education Screening and Education Program Clinic, which helps assess cancer risks for hundreds of local "downwinder" victims.

Cancer patients living closer to Cedar City also will have more options when a radiation treatment facility opens next summer at Valley View Medical Center, an Intermountain Health Care facility built in 2003.

Traveling to St. George or the Wasatch Front for radiation therapy will be a thing of the past for Iron County patients once the 5,000-square-foot facility opens its doors.

"A cancer treatment center in Cedar City will serve an absolutely vital community need," said Valley View Health Care Foundation members in an open letter to the community last month. "It will not only save the lives of many of our friends, neighbors, employees and family members, but will also enhance quality of life and preserve peace of mind."

Funding for the $2.8 million cancer center is a joint effort between private benefactors, the Valley View Health Care Foundation and IHC. Leavitt Enterprises has donated more than $100,000 through a matching grant tied to donations from company employees.