Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where it’s taking a tougher toll on people than anywhere else in the state. On Thursday, the county broke ground for a new cancer center.
The University of Maryland Capital Region Cancer Center in Largo is expected to open in spring 2024. It’s being built on the campus of the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center.
“I’m speaking today, not just as governor who’s helping to make this project happen, but also as a cancer survivor and a former patient about the game-changing impact that this state-of-the-art facility is going to make,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said.
The medical center, the first brand-new hospital in the region in more than 30 years, just opened nearly a year ago. President & CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System Mohan Suntha said by taking a “multidisciplinary approach” to addressing rate of cancer in the region by creating a one-stop destination for residents.
“We will build on the success we have seen at the University of Maryland Greenbaum Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore City, as well as other parts of Maryland, where UMMS hospitals are front and center in providing the highest quality care through the UM Cancer Network,” Suntha said.
“This is such a huge day for us,” Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said. “We don’t have a single cancer center here. And that means that families like my family … had to go out the District of Columbia, other places, and travel to get the treatment that we needed.”
Alsobrooks’ mother is a breast cancer survivor; her grandmother, father and brother all died of cancer.
The state is investing $67 million to fully fund the construction of the comprehensive cancer center as part of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, which Hogan said will dramatically expand efforts to detect, prevent, treat and find a cure for cancer.
“With this game changing Cancer Moonshot Initiative, we’re going to harness the power and capacity of our world class, Maryland public health, education and research facilities to produce the talent, the tools and the treatment that will help us make decade’s worth of progress, and just a matter of years, and to make Maryland a powerhouse at the very forefront of the nation’s efforts to defeat this dreadful disease,” he said.