Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust commits $50 million for WVU Medicine Cancer Hospital

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust has made a $50 million gift to WVU Medicine for the construction of a new cancer hospital to serve as part of the WVU Cancer Institute.

Trustee Stephen Farmer said the gift is seed money for a new, state-of-the-art cancer treatment center to be called the Ruby McQuain Comprehensive Cancer Hospital.

Albert Wright

“We West Virginians are sort of stoic, and we think we only get what we can get,” Farmer said. “This is going to be first-class cancer health care in West Virginia, and we won’t have to go anywhere else.”

WVU Medicine president and CEO Albert Wright said the gift is a crucial step toward the pursuit of a National Cancer Institute designation. The design of the facility is underway, and future capitol fund-raising campaigns will provide the opportunity for members of the community to support the project and advancements in cancer care.

“This hospital we show today is sitting where the WVU Eye Institute sits today, so we’ll move the WVU Eye Institute,” Wright said. “We’ve already started design on this, and I would expect that in the next three to five years we’ll see comprehensive plans.”

The facility will have inpatient surgical suites, procedural rooms, inpatient rooms for those requiring overnight or extended stays, outpatient clinics, dining services, to include a cafeteria, an outpatient pharmacy, and a flower and gift shop.

Tom Takubo

WVU Medicine Executive Vice President, state Senator Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha, said this facility will improve outcomes for people with cancer by having all aspects of care in one facility. The Ruby McQuain Comprehensive Cancer Hospital will allow surgical, medical, radiation oncologists, and other specialists to work in the same facility with the patients they serve.

“We’ll be able to change the survival rates for everybody,” Takubo said. “So to me, this is one of the biggest legacy pieces for doctors and politicians to leave to our kids: to get this in place.”

WVU Health Sciences Chancellor and Executive Dean Dr. Clay Marsh said the atmosphere will encourage continued work on clinical trials that focus on empowering the immune system to help in the fight against cancer.

“That really means the immune system is not able to clear those in the same way, so those trials really are looking at how we reduce the immune system and control those cells,” Marsh said.

Marsh also said this facility will add to the suite of world-class services that help them recruit doctors and professionals to West Virginia. Bringing the top talent to West Virginia instead of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Mayo Clinic, or MD Anderson Cancer Research Center.

“Having a facility of this quality and caliber will augment not only our ability to deliver the best care but also our ability to recruit and retain the best talent,” Marsh said.

In June 2023, the state legislature also approved $50 million in state surplus funds for the pursuit of the National Cancer Institute designation for WVU.

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