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      Cliffs makes $250,000 pledge to Marquette General Health Systems

      Update: 10:52 p.m., 10-20-11

      It's been called the Cadillac of cancer treatment: the new Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator, treating patients faster and better than ever.

      "The beams of radiation can be directed more precisely so that more radiation goes towards the target, meaning the cancer, and less radiation goes into the healthy tissues," said Accelerating the Future co-chair and oncologist, Dr. Aaron Scholnik.

      The technology treats patients five times faster than the previous technology Marquette General had. One radiation cycle is about 60 seconds, which means by the time you're done reading this story, you could have already had one treatment cycle.

      And now, thanks to more than $3.1 million in community donations, it's at Marquette General Hospital. The Accelerating the Future Campaign honored donors with a reception and a grand tour of the new technology Thursday night. It was the perfect place for Cliff's Natural Resources to make a momentous announcement. The company pledged $250,000 towards the Accelerating the Future Campaign.

      "To be able to support health care and health care in Marquette County is really part of what the company's all about in terms of our commitment to Marquette County," said Cliffs spokesman, Dale Hemmila.

      The new equipment will pave the way for cancer centers across the Midwest.

      "You'd have to go as far south as Milwaukee or Grand Rapids to have something similar," Dr. Scholnik said.

      The technology is expected to be up and running by the New Year, but its campaign still needs $900,000 in funding. To donate, visit the website below.


      Cliffs Natural Resources announced a $250,000 pledge to Marquette General Health Systems on behalf of the Accelerating the Future Campaign on Thursday.

      Cliffs Natural Resources announced that the Cliffs Foundation is supporting Marquette General Health Systems with a $250,000 donation to help treat cancer. The goal is to purchase a state-of-the-art linear accelerator for use in treating cancer. The accelerator produces a radiation beam used to fight cancer cells.

      "Cancer and cancer treatment affects nearly everyone, either directly or through a loved one," said Dale Hemmila of Cliffs. "The residents in the local communities where we operate are important stakeholders of the company, and as part of our sustainability commitments, we continue to support organizations that make these communities a better place to live for everyone."

      With this pledge to MGHS, the Cliffs Accelerating the Future Campaign is at approximately three million dollars in contributions, almost reaching the foundation's goal of four million dollars.

      The Truebeam accelerator from Varian will be helpful in the treatment of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers, which are among the most treated at Marquette General Hospital.

      "Patients will find their care with the Truebeam is faster, more accurate, and more comfortable," said retired oncologist and Chair of the Marquette General Foundation, Dr. Daniel Arnold.

      MGHS is expecting the installation of the new accelerator to be completed by the end of the calendar year.

      If you would like to know more about the Accelerating the Future Campaign and the accelerator, check out the Marquette General Foundation's website.