The Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University (SIU) is a community-based patient care, research, education and outreach program established to improve cancer care. It is an effort made possible by the shareholders at Simmons Hanly Conroy and the Simmons Family Foundation who made a $10.2 million multi-year pledge to help fund the development.
About the Institute
The Simmons Cancer Institute opened its doors to patients in 2010. Approximately 55 SIU physician faculty and support staff see nearly 1,750 patients each month. Patients have access to a chemotherapy infusion center, nearly three dozen exam rooms, minor procedure facilities and a cancer center for women with x-ray, mammography and ultrasound services. The institute is home to seven of SIU’s nine cancer care teams – breast, colorectal, gynecologic oncology, head and neck, hematology/oncology, prostate and lung.
Since its inception, the Simmons Cancer Institute has successfully achieved external grant funding of over $14 million to support cancer research. Physician faculty members also work with patients in clinical trials, allowing the development of new treatments and therapies.
Patients also have access to support groups and other wellness programs such as the weekly activities of yoga, Pilates, tai chi and more.
The Firm’s Continued Involvement
Simmons Hanly Conroy remains an active participant in the fundraising and research efforts of the Simmons Cancer Institute today. The firm is a regular sponsor of the Women’s Power Lunch against Cancer, which is held annually to raise funds for the Simmons Cancer Institute. The firm also sponsors the annual Denim & Diamonds fundraiser, which supports innovative research projects and enhances patient comforts.
Funding for a Cure
As a mesothelioma law firm, Simmons Hanly Conroy has seen first-hand the pain a cancer diagnosis can cause patients and their families. Mesothelioma is classified as a rare or ‘orphan’ disease, which means it receives little government funding for research. This form of cancer receives less than one percent of all federal cancer research funding. Due to this lack of support, the firm is dedicated to assisting in the research efforts nationwide.
“Our ultimate goal as trial attorneys is the same goal of the doctors and nurses working inside the Simmons Cancer Institute,” said Simmons Hanly Conroy Chairman John Simmons. “Prevent and alleviate the suffering of others. As a firm rooted in helping mesothelioma cancer victims, we are especially proud to be a sponsor of the institute.”
Simmons Cancer Institute Endowment Fund
John Simmons’ family foundation and Simmons Hanly Conroy established a $2 million endowment fund as part of the initial $10.2 million pledge to SIU’s School of Medicine. This fund was set in place to ensure that the best doctors would be working at the Simmons Cancer Institute.
In 2015, Dr. Aziz Khan, executive director of the Simmons Cancer Institute, was named the Endowed Chair of Excellence in Oncology for his professional achievements and knowledge in his field.
“We are grateful to the Simmons family and law firm for establishing this endowed chair,” said J. Kevin Dorsey, MD, PhD, dean and provost. “Because of their generosity, Dr. Khan will have the resources to lead a team to advance the scientific understanding of the disease process, provide new insights into the epidemiology of cancer and develop new treatments in clinical care for cancer patients.”
“You have to make a decision, and you have to trust each other. And, that’s the only way things can work. And we trusted Simmons and Randy.”
- Betty, Wife of Dale