It took a major political effort to create Stephenson Cancer Center

Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 By: Scott Meacham Source: NewsOK

The fight against cancer in Oklahoma took a giant leap forward last week with the announcement that the Stephenson Cancer Center has become a National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Center. NCI-designated Cancer Centers represent only the top 2 percent of Cancer Centers nationwide.

I have been privileged to serve on the Leadership Council for the Stephenson Center. As I listened to the announcement speeches, I couldn't help but think about the heavy lifting that occurred at the state Capitol in 2004 that made the center possible.

I am not sure where the idea of building a cancer center began, but in 2001, the Legislature adopted HB 2660, calling for the establishment of the center. Back then, the way to get “new things” accomplished was to adopt an unfunded statute calling for the new thing. Then the interested parties would work to find funding in later legislative sessions.

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