Jan. 11, 2006 — The patient and family library resource center at the new Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute at Schneider Regional Medical Center will be named for Dr. Andre A. and Edith Rose Galiber, who donated $200,000 during a press conference Wednesday morning at the hospital.
"It is my hope that all Virgin Islanders will support this center as well as the cardiac center on St. Croix," Edith Rose Galiber said.
The Galibers were originally from St. Thomas, but now live on St. Croix. Dr. Andre A. Galiber died of cancer approximately five years ago, said his widow Edith Rose. Edith Rose Galiber also has a daughter-in-law who underwent breast cancer treatment recently. Four of the Galiber's six children work in the medical field on St. Croix.
The resource center and all of the cancer institute will open during the dedication events Jan. 17 through Jan. 19.
Hospital officials also announced that George McGovern, former U.S. senator and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, will attend the official ceremony at 10 a.m. Jan. 17. McGovern is a long-standing friend of Ambassador Henry Kimelman and his wife, Charlotte, said Schneider Regional Medical Center Public Information Officer Michael Burton.
McGovern and the Kimelmans will be joined by the president of Dakota Wesleyan University, Robert Duffet, as well as Dr. Harold P. Freeman, senior advisor to the director of the National Cancer Institute.
Freeman will be the special guest speaker at the dedication ceremony. In his capacity at NCI, Freeman is responsible for helping meet NCI's goal to stop "suffering and death due to cancer in minority and underserved communities," according to Freeman's official biography. Freeman also created the Patient Navigation Program, used at cancer centers across the United States. PNP offers support for patients and their families during and after cancer treatment, and it focuses on helping the poor and uninsured access cancer treatment. Freeman is currently president, founder and medical director of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention in New York City.
"We are finally at the stages where we all wanted to be," said Schneider Medical Center CEO Rodney Miller Sr. Construction is ongoing at all hours of the night and day, Miller said, to prepare for the Jan. 17 opening.
In addition to the official dedication ceremony, the cancer center will be open to the public for tours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 18. Cancer institute staff will be on hand to answer questions, and cancer education materials will be available.
A cancer survivors' breakfast is scheduled for 8 a.m. Jan. 19. The public is also invited that day for tours and more, though some schools and agencies have already scheduled tours for that day.
Renee Adams, administrative director of the cancer institute, said with excitement, "Every time I think about opening the cancer institute, I get goose bumps."
Though the dedication marks the end of major construction and the start of offering services at the institute — or "the end of one phase and the start of another," as Burton put it — there is still a lot of work to do.
After the dedication, the hospital will start to move oncology services to the Kimelman institute. Radiation services will start later this year after the equipment is installed, certified and tested.
"It's going to take some time — you don't just provide radiation services overnight," Miller said.
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