Steve Gregory and Lisa Warburton-Gregory are the co-chairs of the $28 million capital campaign.

 

CANTON  There's a push underway to raise $28 million for a cancer center at Aultman Hospital, which could break ground as early as the fall.

And even though the campaign is still in the "quiet phase" —  the process that occurs before a request for donations is made publicly — it has already hit 70 percent of its goal.

Behind the successful effort are Steve Gregory and Lisa Warburton-Gregory, co-chairs of the capital campaign for the Timken Family Cancer Center. Their leadership is a continuation of their long history with Aultman Hospital and Aultman Health Foundation.

"Aultman's a great entity," Steve Gregory said. "It's continually growing, continually serving the community."

Edward J. Roth III, president and chief executive officer for Aultman Health Foundation, said the Lake Township couple has been active with Aultman for decades. They don't just serve on boards but represent Aultman in the community, and they "give their time and their talent and their treasure graciously."

"They really, when they support a cause, they're all-in," Roth said. "And you can count on them to be great representatives, to personally participate, and to be there for you."

The Gregorys

The Gregory family's legacy with Aultman dates back more than 60 years to when Gregory Industries came to town in 1957.

Steve's father, Ray, served on the board of directors for the foundation for more than 20 years, and Steve's mother, Virginia, was one of the founding members of the Aultman Women's Board in 1969.

Steve joined the board of directors in 1999.

For Lisa, Aultman also was important. Her mother, a nurse, graduated from Aultman, and her uncle, a doctor, practiced there.

"Aultman was just always our hospital," she said.

Lisa joined the Women's Board in 2002 and served as president from 2010 to 2012. During her tenure, the Women's Board pledged $5 million toward the cancer center — the board's largest contribution in its history.

That money, which accounts for about 18 percent of what's needed to build the cancer center, already has been raised.

Steve and Lisa's leadership has extended beyond speaking with potential donors to making their own $500,000 gift to the cancer center.

They think the center is needed both to consolidate services and give patients and families one space for everything. And they know from experience: Steve battled cancer a year and a half ago and was treated at Aultman.

"If you aren't affected by someone who has cancer, you're lucky," Lisa said.

See Ohio Department of Health data about cancer cases in Stark:

 

The Timken Family Cancer Center

The new cancer center will house all of the hospital's cancer-related services in a family friendly location on Bedford Avenue NW.

Construction is expected to take three years and could start this fall. The center will be named for the Timken family, following a $3 million donation from the Timken Foundation of Canton.

Few other details about plans for the center have been released.

Aultman pulls patients from a five-county region of Stark, Tuscarawas, Carroll, Wayne and Holmes counties. The health care system treats about 4,000 cancer patients annually and saw 1,777 new cancer cases in 2017, according to data provided by Aultman.

See Ohio Department of Health data about invasive cancer cases in that five-county region:

 

The public fundraising phase is scheduled to begin in the middle of this year. Donations are expected to be collected through 2022.

Reach Alison at 330-580-8312 or alison.matas@cantonrep.com.

On Twitter: @amatasREP