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Northwestern hospital launches cancer research fund with $19.5 million donation

The William W. Wirtz Cancer Innovation Fund will help enhance patient access to services for cancer patients, improve health care to more patients, recruit top physicians and physician-scientists who specialize in cancer research and treatment, and help Northwestern Memorial continue to develop emerging technologies in the field.

CHICAGO, Illinois — Northwestern Memorial Hospital has launched a special innovation fund to support cancer research and innovation based on a $19.5 million donation to the hospital’s foundation.

The William W. Wirtz Cancer Innovation Fund is based off a donation by Wirtz, the late owner of Chicago’s National Hockey League team, the Blackhawks. He donated the money before he died in 2007 but the gift was only now made public.

The new fund will help enhance patient access to services for cancer patients, improve health care to more patients, recruit top physicians and physician-scientists who specialize in cancer research and treatment, and help Northwestern Memorial continue to develop emerging technologies in the field, according to a hospital press release. It will also, in part through Northwestern’s Lurie Cancer Center, increase the pace of cancer research and improve the “research infrastructure.”

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“His gift, coupled with the vision of his family, will play an important and lasting role in helping to identify and develop novel new therapies and advance the care we provide to patients living with cancer,” Dean M. Harrison, president and chief executive officer of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, stated in the release.

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