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Mary Lanning Cancer Center Growing with Second Addition in a Year

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For the second time in a year, Mary Lanning Healthcare expands its cancer center, this time with a 6,500 square foot addition built with families in mind.

It's not the miles of cable or amount of concrete that makes Ryan Sawall of McCarthy Building Companies excited about this expansion.

Instead, it's the smiles on the faces of nurses at the Morrison Cancer Center.

Sawall said, "They're all so caring and compassionate and we're excited to be part of this project."

Currently, patients use a row of chairs to receive chemotherapy treatment, where there's little privacy.

"But now with this addition, they'll have the choice," COO Mark Callahan said. "Do they want to be out and about with other patients. Or maybe things aren't going quite well that day and they want a little privacy. Now they'll have the choice on how they would like to have their treatment."

The other benefit, Mary Lanning board members say, is more space for families to be there with loved ones.

Mike Allen said, "Not only can we deliver services that aren't available really anywhere else between Omaha and Denver, we have services for the families."

Hospital staff and builders said they worked together to re-do plans several times, listening to staff along the way.

Sawall said, "They're the experts, they know the equipment they need to plug into the wall, they know what their patients like to do, where the TV needs to be placed."

Callahan, the COO said they went as far as building a mock-up room.

He said, "That was very important to get the physicians feedback. We went out and visited some other cancer centers, because again, we wanted to make sure we got this right."

As they turned ceremonial shovels to kick off construction, it's the second expansion in a year for a cancer center that has quickly grown into a major focus of the hospital campus.

Callahan said, "We opened in 2005 and now to have two major groundbreakings within a year, I cannot tell you how excited I am."

This is phase two, and has a cost around $2 million. Phase one is a $4.5 million project, and will be completed in a few weeks.

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