With that cry from 3-year-old Emily Stephenson -- echoed by her 5-year-old sister, Julia -- the first signed beam was raised to the top of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center.
For a photo album of the beam raising, click here.
Emily Stephenson, who her mother said is being treated at Nebraska Medicine for a blood disorder, may have been the tiniest VIP in attendance, but she was as enthusiastic as any of the other cancer center supporters.
See beam signings throughout Nebraska here.
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert was on hand to extend congratulations on the construction milestone, saying the tower cranes on the Omaha skyline point to "a future of growth."
See campus leaders discuss the impact of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center here.
|The signed beam, with the U.S. flag attached, is hoisted to the top of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center.|
Speaking before the beam-raising, UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., welcomed faculty, staff, donors and local officials, including Mike Yanney and Gail Walling Yanney, M.D.; Ruth Scott; representatives from the Cattlemen's Ball; Omaha City Council members Pete Festersen, Chris Jerram and Ben Gray; state Sens. Jim Smith, Merv Riepe, Sue Crawford, Al Davis, Bob Hilkeman, Rick Kolowski and Mark Kolterman; and former U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson and others.
"This is truly a great day for our campus," Dr. Gold said. "This facility represents how health care will be delivered in the future, and also how our campus will integrate clinical care, discovery and education, all for the benefit of our patients. It's really an exciting day."
Ken Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, pointed out that it would only be 18 more months before the group gathered again for the center's opening.
|Nebraska Medicine staff and UNMC faculty, staff and students, came out -- along with donors, campus and community leaders and other supporters -- to sign the beams and see them raised.|
Nebraska Medicine interim CEO Rosanna Morris said that when the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center opens, "it will have everything our cancer center patients need, all in one place. How do we know? Because we've involved physicians, reseachers, staff members and -- most importantly -- cancer patients in every aspect of the design of the facilities.
"We know, and they know, that curing cancer is not just about eradicating cancer cells," she said. "It's about so much more. It's about treating the whole person - mind, body and spirit."