SJL Government Affairs & Communications


What's Happening

Evers proposes $15 million for MCW cancer center

Gov. Tony Evers proposed $15 million Thursday to build a cancer research center at the Medical College of Wisconsin. 

The $100 million, 150,000-square-foot center will be supported by $85 million from MCW, according to budget documents.

Evers said Friday that the center would provide research space and high-tech facilities. It'll also have space for MCW to engage with its community partners, research participants and students.

"This kind of heightened collaboration will help people all over Wisconsin access state-of-the-art cancer care and the latest clinical trials," Evers said at a press conference at MCW.

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said the proposal will tackle health disparities.

"Everyone deserves access to affordable healthcare," he said. "They also deserve access to the preventable measures to help avoid a cancer diagnosis."

MCW has maximized its existing cancer research facilities and doesn't have the physical space to meet expansion plans, according to budget documents.

Those plans include hiring between 20 and 50 scientists over the next five to seven years, with each new investigator resulting in five to 10 new additional full-time positions. 

The center would also co-locate existing researchers and staff into a centralized location.

MCW originally requested $25 million for the project. 

Dr. Joseph Kerschner, dean of the School of Medicine at MCW, said they're grateful for the state's proposed funding. He said they're "scoping the size of the project at this point." 

"This is the first step," he said. "With the governor's vision and hopefully the support of the rest of our elected officials, we'll move this part forward."

They're looking at their own operations and philanthropy for their side of the funding, he added.

Members of the building commission will vote on Evers capital budget on March 20. The plan then heads to the Joint Finance Committee.

 Other health initiatives in the governor’s capital budget include:

·     $115 million for secured residential care centers for children and teenagers.

·     $109 million for a new science and health sciences building at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

·     $98.5 million for a new state office building in Milwaukee, which will house some operations for state agencies like the Department of Health Services and the Board on Aging and Long-Term Care.

·     $59 million to expand the juvenile treatment center at Mendota Mental Health Institute. 

·     $28.9 million to renovate the Food Service Building at Mendota Mental Health Institute.

·     $20 million to replace and relocate utilities at Mendota Mental Health Institute.

·     $15 million to remodel a building at the Central Wisconsin Center.

·     $10.6 million for a new health services unit at Stanley Correctional Institution.

·     $5.9 million to remodel cells at the Wisconsin Resource Center.

·     $4.8 million in upgrades at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.

·     $3.7 million in upgrades at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove.

The capital budget doesn’t fund a $38.8 million, 72-bed skilled nursing facility in southwest Wisconsin requested by the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs.

It also doesn’t fund a requested $6.5 million renovation for the assisted living program at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King and a requested $7.7 million flooring and ceiling renovation at the facility. 

Michelle Berryman