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Vidant, Golden LEAF Foundation announce grant

February 01, 2018 posted by Beth Anne Atkins

GREENVILLE – Vidant Health and Golden LEAF Foundation officials announced today a $10.8 million grant to fund major equipment in the state-of-the-art cancer center and bed tower on the Vidant Medical Center campus. Eastern North Carolina has a much higher mortality rate for cancer diagnosis than the national average, and more than 7,500 new cases are diagnosed each year in this region.

“We are honored and thrilled that the Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors decided to support this project that is so vital for the people of eastern North Carolina,” said Dr. Michael Waldrum, CEO, Vidant Health. “Vidant Health has recognized that the numbers are not improving, so we have dedicated significant resources to build a premier cancer program, focusing on developing a sustainable, regionally connected system-of-care.”

Golden LEAF’s mission is to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities. The Foundation funds projects affecting critical issues in rural communities such as creating opportunities for new jobs, helping retain crucial businesses at risk for leaving an area and readying the workforce.

"The Golden LEAF Foundation is proud to partner with Vidant Health to provide important and needed specialty healthcare services to rural Eastern North Carolina," said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF President.  "The increased health care service in Pitt County and other eastern North Carolina counties will also create 197 new jobs at the cancer center and train 3,500 new health care professionals annually. This grant will result in multiple wins for eastern North Carolina - improved rural health care access as well as jobs in the region." 

The new 418,000-square-foot cancer center and bed tower is located adjacent to the existing East Carolina Heart Institute on the Greenville campus. The six-story, 96-bed facility will be designed so all inpatient beds can provide cancer care at the tertiary level.  For now, this includes intermediate and general level medical and surgical care for inpatients, with the capability for intensive care in the future.  It also includes space for the following:

  • First floor – 140,000 square feet, including a lobby, outpatient cancer clinic, radiation oncology, infusion services, patient support, pharmacy, lab and administration office space.
  • Second floor – 48 inpatient beds and clinical support space
  • Third floor – mechanical, electrical and support space
  • Fourth floor – 48 inpatient beds and clinical support space
  • Fifth and sixth floors – space for possible future expansion and/or the replacement of existing hospital inpatient beds

Examples of some of the equipment being purchased with Golden LEAF Foundation grant dollars include:

  • 3T MRI (3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging – offers increased image clarity that is beneficial for identifying pathological conditions involving the brain, spine and musculoskeletal system and allows for high-quality vascular imaging; also has shorter scan times that maximize patient comfort without compromising quality).
  • PET/CT scanner (Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography) – upgrade to current equipment.
  • Mammography, bone density and ultrasound equipment – This new equipment will allow for screening and early detection of breast cancer.
  • Video conferences equipment – The conference rooms will allow multidisciplinary teams to participate in cancer case review, care planning and education using state-of-the-art technologies (high definition monitors/screens, speakers, cameras and computer programming/capability). 

Throughout the building, visitors will find special touches and features to help enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of care delivery and improve the patient experience. Patients, visitors and team members will be able to enjoy healing gardens and natural outside environments, as well as shop at a specialized boutique and Image Renewal Center designed to meet the needs of cancer patients. There will also be a resource room for patients and families to do research, in addition to conference space for cancer awareness and support programs.

The estimated cost of construction and equipping the cancer center and bed tower is $174 million. Approximately $50 million will be funded through philanthropy. 

The cancer center and bed tower is scheduled to open in March 2018.


About Golden LEAF Foundation

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to receive a portion of North Carolina’s funding received from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers. For almost 20 years, Golden LEAF has worked to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities through leadership in grantsmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation.

The Foundation has provided lasting impact to tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and rural areas of the state by helping create 61,000 jobs, over half a billion dollars in new payrolls and more than 65,000 workers trained or retrained for higher wages.

To learn more about the Golden LEAF Foundation, visit or call 888.684.8404.

About Vidant Health

Vidant Health is a mission-driven, 1,447-bed health system that annually serves more than 1.4 million people in 29 eastern North Carolina counties. The not-for-profit system is made up of 12,000 employees, eight hospitals, home health, hospice, wellness centers, and Vidant Medical Group, a multi-specialty physician and provider group with more than 420 providers in more than 80 practice sites in eastern North Carolina. Vidant is affiliated with The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. As a major resource for health services and education, Vidant has a mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina. For more information, visit

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