Members of the Mills family, and officials from Carle Foundation Hospital, Carle Clinic Association, and the University of Illinois have broken ground on the Mills Breast Cancer Institute. The world-class center will be dedicated to breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and research.

"Our goal is bold: To find a cure," says James C. Leonard, MD, president and CEO, the Carle Foundation. "We’re thankful for the incredible generosity of Linda and Doug Mills whose $10 million gift is serving as a springboard for others who want their legacies to have such a powerful impact on breast cancer patients and their families."

The doors of the Mills Breast Cancer Institute are expected to open to patient care and research in spring 2008. Site preparation and utility clearing will begin immediately. Construction of the actual building is set to begin in November 2006. The entire project is estimated at around $30 million.

The facility will house nearly all of the components of breast cancer care, as well as research. Carle Clinic Association physicians will continue to provide comprehensive cancer care including oncology and surgery; diagnostics, including mammography, sonography, and stereo tactic biopsies; chemotherapy; and social services. A bone densitometry unit will be on hand to screen for osteoporosis.

The institute will also provide support services such as nutrition counseling, genetic and risk assessment counseling, support groups, palliative care, and boutique services, such as wigs and prostheses. A library and computer resource center will be available for patients and healthcare providers. Other educational opportunities include interactive telemedicine, seminars, and continuing education events. All of the services will be provided in a state-of-the art building designed with breast cancer patients in mind.

An entire floor of the institute will be dedicated to research by scientists associated with the University of Illinois. Emphasis will be on research in collaboration with University of Illinois scientists and Carle Clinic Association physicians.