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Shaping the future of cancer care in Utah County

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah (the U) and Utah Valley University (UVU) proudly announce a groundbreaking partnership called the “Huntsman Cancer Institute–Utah Valley University Health Collaborative.” This visionary program marks a significant step towards revolutionizing health and science education while bolstering cancer research and care.

Supported by a monumental $1 million donation from Huntsman Cancer Institute, this program will secure its enduring presence through a UVU-managed endowment, ensuring its vital mission will continue to impact generations to come.

The HCI–UVU Health Collaborative will provide an impressive 50 health and science-based learning opportunities annually, empowering students to prepare for the future workforce in the fields of research and medical care. This initiative plays a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of cancer researchers and healthcare providers, fostering innovation and excellence in eradicating cancer from the face of the earth.

“In our pursuit of a cancer-free frontier, this partnership marks a significant stride forward,” says Brad Cairns, PhD, chief academic officer of Huntsman Cancer Institute, Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, and professor and chair of the Department of Oncological Sciences at the U. “Our enthusiasm and desire to make an impact on cancer knows no bounds as we extend our reach to establish our next comprehensive cancer center in Vineyard, Utah.”

Huntsman Cancer Institute announced plans for a second comprehensive cancer center in Utah County last June. It will be in Vineyard, a city in part of the fastest growing area of the region and embedded in Utah’s tech hub. The plan opens new possibilities for cancer research, prevention, and treatments. It is also a bold step forward in increasing access to care for hundreds of thousands of cancer patients closer to where they live. The plan was catalyzed thanks to a lead matching gift of $75 million from the Huntsman Foundation. Planning, design, and a fundraising campaign to raise the remaining support are now the major focus areas of the project.

“We firmly believe in fostering a collaborative spirit to craft solutions to educate students and better serve the health care needs of all Utahns,” says University of Utah President Taylor Randall. “Our commitment to the HCI-UVU Health Collaborative lies in the creative alliance of our efforts to create a path for the next wave of aspiring innovators, dedicated health care professionals, and scientists.”

This alliance exemplifies the power of synergy, uniting Utah’s academic and healthcare communities to drive meaningful change. Through education, research and community engagement, the collaboration aims to make a lasting impact on the lives of countless individuals and families touched by cancer.

“With the explosive growth coming to Utah County over the next three decades, the need for nurses, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, mental health professionals, and other health and wellness workers is significant,” says Utah Valley University President Astrid Tuminez. “This HCI-UVU Health Collaborative will provide a great opportunity for our students and aligns with the university’s model of engaged learning, which continues to set UVU apart.”

The HCI-UVU Health Collaborative will begin offering student training opportunities in January 2024.