A Boost for Cancer Care

$15 million Norris gift funds new clinic on Health Sciences campus.

From left, Peter Jones, Stephen Gruber, Harlyne Norris and William Corey. Photo by Jon NalickFrom left, Peter Jones, Stephen Gruber, Harlyne Norris and William Corey. Photo by Jon Nalick

USC WILL FURTHER ENHANCE its cancer care facilities, thanks to a $15 million donation from the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation.

The gift will support construction on the USC Health Sciences campus of a new outpatient clinic building that will be named the Norris Healthcare Consultation Center. The facility will feature leading-edge technology and house multidisciplinary clinics focused on cancer care, including areas for radiation therapy, imaging and infusion therapy.

The Norris Foundation’s longstanding support for the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and USC Norris Cancer Hospital has helped to create one of the premier cancer centers in the nation. The hospital is one of only a few facilities in Southern California built exclusively for cancer research and patient care. With this latest gift, the foundation reaffirms its continuing commitment to making cancer a disease of the past.

“We’ve seen how cancer patients are treated much more on an outpatient basis than they used to be,” says Harlyne Norris, trustee and past chairman of the Norris Foundation. “This new facility will transform the way people with cancer are treated today and in the future. We’re very privileged to be able to help keep USC on the cutting edge of cancer treatment.”

The $15 million donation from the Norris Foundation is the lead gift toward the new building. The gift will be augmented by additional philanthropic support that will be raised as part of the $6 billion Campaign for the University of Southern California.

“We are very grateful to the Norris family and foundation for their unwavering support of our fight against cancer and for their longstanding commitment to USC,” says USC president C. L. Max Nikias. “Harlyne Norris has been an exemplary trustee and key adviser to me. This generous gift will bolster our ability to set new standards in cancer care, not only in Los Angeles but also in our region and beyond.”

The overall strategy for the expansion and development of clinical, research and educational space on the Health Sciences campus was set out in a master plan approved by the USC Board of Trustees last January. This long-range strategy looks forward to 2035, and, over that time span, space devoted to patient care is planned to nearly double – from just over one million square feet to more than two million. This dramatic expansion represents a measure of the university’s investment in the future health of the people of greater Los Angeles.

USC officials note that this latest gift from the Norris Foundation is evidence of the growth and impact of the newly named Keck Medical Center of USC and its commitment to improving and expanding services for patients.

“The Norris gift will provide a world-class outpatient facility that matches the world-class talent of our physicians, nurses and staff, and the care they provide to our patients,” says Stephen Gruber, director of the Norris cancer center.

Outpatient care for cancer patients currently is provided in the Norris Cancer Hospital in a building designed in the late 1970s. Moving ambulatory cancer care, along with other special services, to the new Norris Healthcare Consultation Center will facilitate the delivery of the highest level of patient service in a dedicated, state-of-the-art clinical building.

“Over 30 years ago, Kenneth Norris Jr. provided the visionary gift and inspiration to assist USC in securing the National Cancer Institute grant to establish one of the nation’s original NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers and hospitals – in his words, ‘to make cancer a disease of the past,’ ” says William Corey, trustee and medical consultant for the Norris Foundation. “The trustees continue to honor that commitment.”

The Norris Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation established in 1963 and based in Long Beach, Calif. It has an extensive history of giving to USC, beginning with the philanthropic work of Eileen and Kenneth True Norris, who funded the Norris Medical Library, the Eileen L. Norris Cinema Theatre and the Norris Dental Science Center at USC. This latest gift of $15 million brings the foundation’s total giving to USC to nearly $200 million.

“State-of-the-art cancer research and treatment is incredibly important to the Keck School of Medicine’s mission of medical education, research discovery and patient care,” says Carmen A. Puliafito, dean of the Keck School. “We are confident this new facility will fortify USC’s position as a trusted leader in health care and medical research.”

The Keck Medical Center of USC includes Keck Hospital of USC and the cancer hospital, as well as USC’s 500-physician faculty practice.