There were many reasons to celebrate when St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute opened its doors for a special open house and dedication event on the evening of Nov. 17.
Tours of the facility included a look at remodeled spaces, such as the pharmacy, and recent improvements to patient treatment options, such as the linear accelerator that was added in 2015.
Demonstrations and presentations showed visitors how St. Luke’s MSTI provides specialized care for patients through the Integrative Medicine program. Dr. Norm Zuckerman, former executive medical director of St. Luke’s MSTI, provided a tai chi demonstration, and music therapist Mary Brieschke shared highlights from the music therapy program.
The evening ended with the dedication of a new outdoor play area adjacent to the Laura Moore Cunningham Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Clinic. Dr. Dan Zuckerman, executive medical director of St. Luke’s MSTI, explained that MSTI has managed ongoing remodeling projects while continuing to provide patient care. He thanked the community’s generosity for making such improvements possible.
“Like many great things in our lives, it takes vision and passion, but it also takes philanthropy,” Dr. Zuckerman said.
Money raised to build the new playground came from an array of sources, including children who raised money through class projects.
The entire playground was designed as an interactive space, including the donor wall that displays names of some of the people who helped support the project through donations. Designers from CSHQA interviewed young patients at MSTI in order to capture their imaginations and bring their ideas into the process. Local artists Amber Day and Kevin Flynn created the tiny ladybugs, bees, worms and other critters that can be found on the wall.
“The amount of effort and energy that went into making this playground was absolutely inspiring,” said Doug Oppenheimer, chairman of St. Luke’s Treasure Valley Foundation.
Chereen Langrill was formerly a communications coordinator for St. Luke’s Health System.