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Saluting milestones for Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah Hospital

The Huntsman Cancer Institute is now a comprehensive cancer center, while the affiliated University of Utah Hospital is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The size and quality of the health care complex on the U. campus offers inestimable benefits.
The Huntsman Cancer Institute is now a comprehensive cancer center, while the affiliated University of Utah Hospital is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The size and quality of the health care complex on the U. campus offers inestimable benefits.
Jordan Allred, Deseret News

The designation of the Huntsman Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer center puts the facility in an elite category with the world’s most prestigious medical establishments. The new classification is a milestone that, as its top executive says, is “a really big deal for all of the people who live in this vast geographical region of our country.”

A big deal indeed. The institute is at the forefront of innovation in the treatment of patients and is as likely a place as any other to foster a breakthrough in curing certain forms of cancer. It is a centerpiece in a legacy of world-class health care at the sprawling complex of facilities affiliated with the University of Utah Hospital, which opened the Huntsman center in 1999 and is itself celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The cancer center may be only in its teenage years, but has accrued status comparable to facilities like Sloan-Kettering, Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic. Such prominence means the facility will be able to attract the top experts in the fields of cancer research and treatment and continue to build on its already impressive resume.

The size and quality of the health care complex on the foothills of the U. of U. campus offers an inestimable benefit to residents of Utah and surrounding states. Likewise, the nature of the population served by the facilities has provided a rare benefit to those exploring the causes of cancer and other disease. Jon Huntsman Sr., upon whose extraordinary largesse the institute is built, told the Deseret News that research here has been aided substantially by the existence of the Utah Population Database, which contains centuries of genealogical records made available by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The half-century legacy of the University of Utah Hospital includes an impressive record of advancement in treatment of heart disease, neurological disorders, ophthalmology and several other medical specialties. As a teaching facility, the hospital has achieved a level of excellence of which its benefactors and constituents should be proud.

In any community, the quality of health care is intrinsic to the quality of life. The Huntsman Cancer Institute and its sponsoring institution are worthy of their increasing stature and deserving of commendation for contributing to the well-being of the population they serve.