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St. Luke's Blogs

A history of cancer care in Idaho and at MSTI

By Dr. David C. Pate, News and Community
September 24, 2013

1935: Idaho Chapter of the American Cancer Society founded.

1938: Dr. Alfred Popma offers first radiotherapy at St. Luke’s.

1953: Tumor board organized for the study of cancer.

1956: Idaho Cancer Coordinating Committee established.

1957: Isotope lab installed at St. Luke’s for treatment of cancer and other diseases.

1960: The first cobalt therapy unit in Idaho installed at St. Luke’s.

1961: Diagnostic and Treatment Center dedicated with new laboratory and radiology departments.

1963: Radiology Technology School established.

1964: Tumor Registry established. Mammography studies begin.

1966: Idaho Foundation for Medicine and Biology created.

1967: Dr. Maurice Burkholder appointed to a fellowship at M.D. Anderson Medical Center in Houston. Selected arteriography and lymphangiography begins at St. Luke’s.

1968: Mountain States Tumor Institute grant proposal submitted to the National Institutes of Health through the Idaho Division of the Mountain States Regional Medical Program.

1969: MSTI grant application accepted and funding begins. St. Luke’s secures financing for MSTI’s land and building.

1970: MSTI first board of directors elected. MSTI Policy and Planning Council founded.

1971: MSTI moves from the hospital into its own building on the St. Luke’s campus. MSTI’s first physicist joins the staff.

1972: Bishop Foote Guest House opens.

1973: Breast Cancer Detection Center opens in Boise.

1975: MSTI building expansion begins.

1976: MSTI moves into its 11,500-square-foot addition.

1977: Clinac 18 linear accelerator installed. First radiation therapy simulator installed.

1979: MSTI’s pediatric oncologist begins practice.

1983: Second radiation therapy simulator installed.

1984: Clinac 6 linear accelerator added.

1985: MSTI opens the second Breast Cancer Detection Center, in Meridian.

1986: Hyperthermia machine installed.

1990: MSTI constructs new Breast Cancer Detection Center at Third and Washington streets in Boise. MSTI and VA Medical Center acquire Clinac 2100C linear accelerator.

1991: MSTI named member of the National Bone Marrow Donor Program. MSTI opened in Nampa.

1992: MSTI and St. Luke’s begin first bone marrow transplantation program in Idaho.

1993: MSTI opens the third Breast Cancer Detection Center, in Southwest Boise. MSTI and St. Luke’s offer first stereotactic needle biopsy alternative to surgery. MSTI and BCDC celebrate 20th anniversary as first survey project of the National Cancer Institute. MSTI protocols for autologous bone marrow transplantation and high-dose chemotherapy accepted in studies at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. MSTI opens Oral Oncology Unit.

2000: MSTI Meridian opened.

2002: MSTI Twin Falls opened. MSTI Nampa expanded and remodeled. MSTI Meridian expands and adds radiation therapy. MSTI Fruitland opened.

2006: Research Department received the American Society of Clinical Oncology Community Research Award, one of 12 in the nation.

2010: MSTI selected as a National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Center.

2011: New Magic Valley MSTI opened.

2012: In the fiscal year, MSTI had 3,410 new patient visits and 104,533 total patient visits

2013: MSTI has 619 employees.

About The Author

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.