UMC receives historic donation for new TLC Foundation Cancer Center

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 6:42 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - UMC announced a donation that will help in its fight against cancer on Wednesday.

UMC tells us this donation from the TLC2 Foundation of Artesia is the largest donation received in UMC’s history. It will help fund the construction of the new TLC Foundation Cancer Center in Lubbock.

UMC President and CEO Mark Funderburk says the center will offer a wide range of treatments for those battling a disease that’s become the second most common cause of death in the U.S.

“Anything from music therapy, art therapy, exercise, nutrition, psycho-social,” Funderburk said. “All kinds of therapy help or resources that simply support the mind the body and the spirit.”

That means more patients can receive treatment without traveling long distances to other facilities.

“We’ll be able to treat close to their doctor,” Funderburk said. “Close to home and in the same building. We want it to be not just beautiful but also convenient, accessible, and full of state of the art equipment.”

The facility should provide treatment options, and more space for patients. The new facility will stand at 120,000 sq/ft compared to the 47,000 sq/ft facility doctors and patients currently occupy.

TLC Foundation Director Judy Pittman says its one of the reasons TLC chose UMC for its donation.

“It was a crowded place,” Pittman said. “We went back and spoke with the other board member Doug Chandler, a founder, and said ‘these people are wall to wall.”

With more patients, there will be more positions to fill. Funderburk says the state of the art equipment and research will help recruit more medical professionals to the Hub City.

“Medical staff, research staff, nursing staff all those that we’re gonna need when this kicks off and we break ground next year,” Funderburk said.

Pittman with TLC says she hopes this donation will serve as a call to action for others.

“We want to inspire other people to do the same,” Pittman said. “Who has not had someone they loved touched by cancer? Ask yourself, and what can I do? How can I honor them?”

Funderburk says UMC hopes research through the new center will help the UMC system receive a certification from the National Cancer Institute within the next five to 10 years.