Maurer is chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Fosdick is president and CEO of the Nebraska Medical Center.
The recent groundbreaking of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center heralds the coming of a new era in cancer care and research in our city, state, region and beyond.
With this center, the people of Nebraska have sent a clear signal that becoming a national and international leader in cancer care, research and education is both a priority and a point of pride in our state.
The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center is truly a transformational undertaking, one that enhances our international reputation — at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Nebraska Medical Center — and elevates our cancer program to a whole new level.
But it comes upon a solid foundation, built upon decades of dedication and research. We already have some of the nation’s leading cancer researchers at the Medical Center, and we owe them every tool we can give them in order to find tomorrow’s cures.
We owe Nebraska’s families the opportunity to find the highest quality of care available anywhere right here, without having to leave their home state.
The center’s name — the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center — comes thanks to lead benefactor Pamela Buffett, through her Rebecca Susan Buffett Foundation. Hers was a monumental gift.
But the giving, and the determination to make this center a reality, did not stop there.
Omaha is blessed with a strong lineup of philanthropists known for their generosity and civic-mindedness. And as we went to potential private donors it was clear that they were even more inspired to become a part of this movement thanks in part to the unprecedented public backing.
Public support totaling $90 million has been pledged toward the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center by the State of Nebraska, the City of Omaha and Douglas County. And with that, our private donors responded with similarly unprecedented support.
As a result of this tremendous public-private partnership, when people all over the world think of cancer care, education and research, they will soon think “Nebraska.”
CL Werner saw the potential for a center with extraordinary collaboration between scientists and clinicians — a center that could alleviate suffering and offer hope for families dealing with cancer diagnoses.
The CL Werner Foundation provided a gift that will name the cancer hospital the CL Werner Cancer Hospital. This will be a 108-bed hospital for the sickest cancer patients.
Suzanne and Walter Scott Jr. spoke of seeing another opportunity to invest in excellence, calling the Medical Center one of Nebraska’s treasures.
The Suzanne and Walter Scott Research Tower will include 98 laboratories where medical scientists will dedicate their lives to finding cures and treatments for the deadliest cancers.
Other principal benefactors include the Robert B. Daugherty Foundation, Clarkson Regional Health Services, the Peter Kiewit Foundation and the Holland Foundation.
The support continues with founding benefactors: UNMC Physicians, the Mutual of Omaha Foundation, the David Scott Foundation, the Amy L. Scott Foundation, the Parker Family Foundation, the Dixon Family Foundation, Shirley and Jim Young, the Acklie Charitable Foundation, the Mammel Foundation, Patti and David Aresty, the Iowa West Foundation and HDR Inc.
Staff of UNMC, the Nebraska Medical Center, UNMC Physicians and Bellevue Medical Center also earned entry into this group, thanks to a voluntary employee giving campaign that surpassed all expectations.
And of course, there were those who gave gifts large and small but wished to remain anonymous.
We also cannot overlook the game-changing economic impact of this center — a $323 million construction project, the largest in University of Nebraska history. It means an estimated additional $537 million annually into the local economy and 4,657 new jobs.
Among the 1,200 new jobs at the Medical Center itself will be even more of the world’s brightest minds in cancer research, working on the next generation of cancer therapies. Most significantly, they will be working on them right here in Omaha.
Again, we thank all of those who have helped make this happen. Thanks to their generosity and determination, when people all over the world think of cancer care, education and research, they will think “Nebraska.”
Fred “Fritz” Buffett died in 1997 after fighting kidney cancer. His fight, and Pamela’s gift, are what the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center is all about.