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HMHP seeks $2M for center

Published: Thu, June 24, 2010 @ 12:06 a.m.




The ultimate goal of the $8 million Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center planned by Humility of Mary Health Partners is to reduce the breast-cancer rate in Mahoning County, which is the highest in the state.

HMHP kicked off the public portion of its financial campaign for the breast-care cancer center Wednesday at the DeYor Performing Arts Center downtown by reporting that about $6.1 million of the $8 million needed is pledged.

Officials said, however, that most of the remaining $2 million needs to be raised before the project can get under way at St. Elizabeth Health Center on Belmont Avenue.

The long-range plan is to begin the renovation work this fall and open the center, which at this point is slated to be in the former outpatient service area, in 2011-12, officials said.

The comprehensive breast-care center is the longtime dream of Dr. Rashid Abdu, whose wife, Joanie, died of breast cancer June 2, 1994.

“Because our poor and underserved, who lack resources or knowledge, seek help late, they die early,” Dr. Abdu said.

Because of HMHP’s mission to care for the poor, these women will get that same high level of care expected by their well-to-do sisters, he said.

Most importantly, because of the interdisciplinary team approach required by a comprehensive breast-care center, the weeks or months of waiting for appointments, diagnosis and treatment are condensed into days.

Treatment is tailored for each individual and center personnel to meet weekly to discuss the status of each patient, Dr. Abdu said.

He said Mahoning County’s breast-cancer death rate is the highest in Ohio, and Trumbull and Columbiana counties are not far behind.

“The center is HMHP’s response to the needs of the Valley, said Robert Shroder, president and chief executive officer of HMHP.

The Joanie Abdu Center will be the only accredited comprehensive breast-care center between Cleveland and Hershey, Pa., and only the third in Ohio. Women no longer will need to leave town for the “best treatment” because it will be right here, Shroder said.

To be accredited, a center must have 17 components and meet 27 standards of care, Dr. Abdu said.

Joseph D. and Andrea Lane of Canfield co-chair the capital campaign.

Jim Schultis, president of the HMHP Development Foundation, which was gifted with $250,000 Wednesday for the breast-care center by the Hynes-Finnegan Foundation, said early gifts to the campaign total $6,150,000. That total includes $3 million of HMHP internal funding.

The project’s budget is $4 million for renovation, construction and relocation of current equipment, and $4 million for additional medical equipment.

The center will require the assembling of a world-class team of doctors, radiologists, oncologists, technologists, nurses and administrators in Youngstown, Shroder said.

And the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center fulfills the vision of Dr. Abdu that something good would come of his wife’s death.


1yashure(18 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

There's no doubt a facility of this nature is desperately needed in this area,,,but how sweet a deal is it for HMHP to play on the communities sympathy so monies will be given to them to help build this facility, and then charge dearly for the services it will provide. There's no Humility in HMHP. Just profit.

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2oldstown(198 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Putting this center in Youngstown makes NO SENSE when St. E's on Belmont will close within the decade anyway. It should be in Boardman. But I guess the bigger question mark in my mind is, will people actually come to this center when light-years-better medical care can be found so close by in Cleveland and Pittsburgh??

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3maxi(73 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

So sorry to hear negative comments on one of the most exciting stories I've read in quite some time.

My personal thanks to Dr. Abdu, HMHP, Dr. Gantt, the Lanes, and all those involved in the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center planning. And many thanks to all those who have given so generously to the cause. Good luck in your continued fundraising efforts...there is no doubt the community will come through with the remaining $2 million, even in a tough economy.

"Oldstown": The location is ideal. It will be centrally located for the tri-county area. Not everyone lives in the Boardman area and not everything belongs in Boardman.

Also "Oldstown", traveling to Cleveland or Pittsburgh may be possible for many people. But keep in mind it's NOT possible for so many. Please don't assume that everyone has the means to commute to these cities. And when you are ill from the effects of chemo and other procedures, that commute is even more difficult. Many do not have the support team to take them there.

"Yashure": Not that I feel you are even worthy of a response to your mindless, uneducated comment but here goes. While the facility is being built on donations, yes, the facility needs bill for its services (duh!). No one will be denied care. I can't say that will be the case if the deal with Ardent Health to buy Forum will go through. Ardent is a for profit and I'm sure that either you better have insurance or you better have the money to pay for your care because if you don't you will be billed and you will not have the opportunity to apply for charity care.

Hospice House in Poland was built on 100% donations. And yes, it bills the patient's insurance, as it should. Kudos again to the community for providing the monies to build a most beautiful and much needed facility.

This is an exciting announcement, period.

Thanks again Dr. Abdu and HMHP. You rock!

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4yashure(18 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

To maxi, Mindless and uneducated indeed. Your comment that "not everyone lives in the Boardman area and not everyone belongs in Boardman gives a hint as to your level of education and intelligence. I don't recalled stating that HMHP should provide services for free. Where in the four simple lines I wrote did you lose tract of the subject?

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