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Updated Feb 21, 2013 - 1:09 pm

Groundbreaking held for new UofA Cancer Center

Officials speak at a groundbreaking for the new University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in downtown Phoenix. (Bob McClay/KTAR)

PHOENIX -- The new University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in downtown Phoenix held a ceremonial groundbreaking on Thursday.

The new outpatient clinic at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus will go up on the northwest corner of Fillmore and Seventh streets.

It's expected to open in 2015.

The 220,000-square-foot, $100 million cancer clinic will offer comprehensive cancer services. The five-story building will feature nearly a quarter-of-a-million square feet of clinical lab space and specialized cancer services.

University President Ann Weaver Hart said the center will be a place where doctors can do groundbreaking research on different types of cancer. She said they will be "physicians who understand that basic research needs to be translated into treatments and that those treatments need to be tried so that we can understand how to advance the health, well being and survival of cancer among our citizens."

Under an affiliation agreement approved by the Arizona Board of Regents and Dignity Health Arizona, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center will operate outpatient services at the new downtown facility as well at its hospital campus.

St. Joseph's President Linda Hunt said the center already has a goal.

"Let's figure out how we can recognize cancer earlier," she said. "Let's cure cancer sooner, and let's help people be healthier, so that they don't get cancer."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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