LANCASTER — More than 200 community, medical, and government leaders, along with employees and construction workers, celebrated the completion of the internal structure of City of Hope Antelope Valley with a “topping off” ceremony on Friday (April 12).
The celebration included the opportunity for guests to become part of history by signing the final 10-foot-long structural beam, as well as a brief program with presentations by executives from Antelope Valley Healthcare District, City of Hope, and G. L. Bruno Associates, Inc.
The ceremony concluded as the final beam was hoisted atop the building’s future main entrance and secured in place. In keeping with the “Topping Off” tradition, an evergreen tree and an American flag were perched on top of the beam which was painted white and decorated with autographs of ceremony attendees.
The new 56,000 square-foot facility, located on Antelope Valley Hospital’s campus, will bring City of Hope’s research and advanced medicine to the local community, making treatments more accessible for patients who live far from the institution’s campus in Duarte, California. The full-service cancer treatment center is slated to open in late 2013.
“We are delighted and honored at the opportunity to work with two such prestigious institutions to bring leading-edge cancer care to the Antelope Valley community through a single a facility that provides access to such a broad range of services,” Gary L. Bruno, President and Chief Executive Officer, of G. L. Bruno Associates, Inc., the project developer and manager of the ownership group.
Edward Mirzabegian, AVH Chief Executive Officer, stated, “As the Antelope Valley’s most comprehensive health care facility, Antelope Valley Hospital has been committed to providing integrated health care to our community for decades. Our successful partnership with City of Hope and G.L. Bruno Associates, Inc., and the creation of this state-of-the-art facility, is another significant step in our continuing efforts to provide the most advanced care close to home for those in our care.”
Harlan Levine, M.D., Chief Executive, City of Hope Medical Foundation, agreed. “Access to the most advanced cancer care makes a significant difference for many patients, and as a comprehensive cancer center, City of Hope wants to ensure that we can make our research discoveries and treatment advances available to as many patients as possible,” he said. “Greater access to top specialist care is part of a nationwide trend in U.S. medicine – and one in which City of Hope is at the forefront.”
City of Hope Antelope Valley will enable City of Hope physicians, in partnership with Antelope Valley Hospital, to bring innovative diagnostic and treatment options to cancer patients in the Antelope Valley, as well as access to the hundreds of clinical trials conducted by City of Hope.
Additionally, the facility will house a 172-seat community education center to help share cancer research news through speaking events, presentations and experts panels.
(Information via press release from Antelope Valley Hospital.)