Queens cancer center seeks financial backing

July 27, 2010 07:08PM

Backers of an expensive proposed proton beam cancer treatment facility
in Jamaica, Queens, are pinning their hopes of winning the necessary
state approvals on ties to several powerful local politicians, Crain’s
reported. Currently, the New York State Department of Health is
reviewing three competing proposals for a proton beam facility in the
area, including two in New York City. Proton beam technology
allows radiation to be emitted in precisely focused cancer-killing
doses, but the cost of building and equipping such a facility is more
than $200 million, and there are only eight such centers in the
country. The leading contender is a consortium of several of the city’s
major hospitals — Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Beth Israel, NYU, Mount
Sinai, Montefiore and New York-Presbyterian — who are pitching a $227
million facility for West 57th Street in Manhattan. A second contender
is Vassar Brothers Medical Center, which hopes to join with New
York-Presbyterian to open a $201 million center upstate in Fishkill,
N.Y. The third proposal — and the most controversial since enlisting
the help of three local politicians — is a $273 million center at
former site of Mary Immaculate Hospital in Queens, whose backers filed
a request with the Department of Homeland Security to raise $250
million using the federal EB 5 foreign investment program. [Crain’s]