$ 1 Million Donation Will Support New Cancer Center in Alton, IL
Center at OSF Saint Anthony's to be called Moeller Cancer Center
The OSF HealthCare Foundation has received a $1 million gift from Mike and Amy Moeller to support construction of a new, free-standing state-of-the-art Cancer Center on the OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony’s Health Center campus in Alton, Illinois. Thanks to this generous gift, OSF Saint Anthony’s is now more than 60 percent of the way to a $2.5 million fundraising goal for construction.
In addition, the Moellers have pledged another $150,000 as yearly sponsors of the OSF HealthCare Foundation golf outing which supports operations for the Oncology program. The Moellers first learned about the patient-focused, high quality care provided at OSF Saint Anthony’s when Mike began participating in the Foundation’s annual golf tournament about 10 years ago.
Construction of the 15,500 square foot facility is underway and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2019, with the total project cost of $14 million. During a celebration Thursday, January 10, OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony's President Ajay Pathak announced the new building will be called the Moeller Cancer Center.
Pathak said the essential and transformative gift was a result of conversations about the importance of support from loved ones and excellent, compassionate care close to home.
"As many of you know, the fight against cancer is a team effort so being able to do that with leading providers and the highest quality but at a location or geography that meets the needs of our patients is just a tremendous opportunity. And, so sharing that with Mike and Amy, Mike's comment to me was, 'What more can I do? How can I help?'" Pathak told a gathering of about 50 members of the capital campaign committee as well as other cancer center supporters, including care providers.
“I believe in them. I believe in the need to build a world class comprehensive cancer center in the Riverbend area. I believe in the mission to treat each patient with unyielding love, care, and compassion.”
Mike, a private investment portfolio manager said, “My job is to make prudent investments for others to help them achieve their financial goals. My gift is simply an investment in the leadership, highly qualified Oncology team, and community.” Holding a painting depicting Jesus washing the feet of his apostles, Moeller said cancer care team members are following Christ's example of serving others in tighting an often unpleasant and sometimes seemingly relentless battle.
"You take care of people in a dirty, ugly environment but you are doing exactly what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said to do, so thank you," said Moeller to the doctors, nurses, radiologists, health navigators and others who attended the celebration.
Among those at the event was Heather Jones, an OSF Saint Anthony's breast health navigator who is also a breast cancer survivor. She lost her first husband to cancer as well. During his treatments, Jones remembers traveling 50 miles each way, adding to the family's stress. Jones herself underwent two surgeries, six rounds of chemotherapy and 32 radiation sessions after her cancer diagnosis. However, Jones shared that what she endured made her better prepared to help others.
"I am not the only one who has walked this road. And, I guarantee everyone that works in our Oncology department knows how to treat our patients when they come through those doors ... knows how to give them the love we want to share to them. So, that's why I love to share my story," she said to explain why she feels divine intervention placed her at Saint Anthony's.
The Power of Prayer
In addition to their financial contribution, the Moellers desire to be further engaged with the patients and care team at the new Cancer Center. They are working with Sister Anselma, Chief Operating Officer, to create an opportunity for Mike and his family to pray with and minister to those currently undergoing cancer treatment. Mike and Amy believe strongly in the power of prayer and its ability to provide physical, emotional and spiritual healing.
“My family and I are excited to come alongside the pastoral care team and pray with patients and family members who ask for support. There is no greater joy than the privilege of encouraging those who are going through a difficult journey,” added Mike Moeller.
Cancer is something the Moeller family is all too familiar with. Mike’s father, Ron, lost his battle with the disease. During his father’s treatments, Mike witnessed his father praying with the patients next to him and spreading hope throughout the room. This helped shape the philosophy for which the Moellers live and raise their children by today – Honor God and Help People.
"I fail much of the time to live up to the command, but my family and dear friends hold me accountable! I also had a father who lived it and modeled it for me each day until he died of colon cancer,” he shared.
The new Cancer Center will allow patients in the Riverbend to receive outstanding, comprehensive cancer care that is close to home. Treatment and support will be all under one roof and new technology will allow for even more precise treatment for a variety of cancers.
Pathak is also excited the donation could encourage others to give. “This tremendous gift by the Moellers puts us in a great position to be much closer to our philanthropic goal. Our hope is that the community at large sees the importance of this program and cancer center, and feels inspired to help fill this need.”
For more information about how you can contribute to cancer services at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony’s Health Center or to support the capital campaign, call the OSF HealthCare Foundation at 618-463-5168 or email Lee McRaven.
Mike Moeller has received numerous accolades over the years as a distinguished financial advisor, including most recently making Forbes Magazine’s 2018 List of America's Top 250 and Best-In-The-State Wealth Advisors. He was also honored as one of Barron’s America’s Top 1000 Financial Advisors, and St. Louis Magazine recognized him as a 2018 Five Star Weather Manager. As an alumnus of Indiana University, Mike graduated with highest honors from the Kelley School of Business. He and his wife Amy have four children Abigail, Madison, Faith and Luke.