VIPs tour OSU center being built to treat cancer, trauma

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VIPs tour OSU center being built to treat cancer, trauma

The Dispatch – Taped to the bare concrete inside the construction site at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center are posters that remind workers that what they’re building will help cancer and trauma patients live longer.

The message isn’t lost on Judy Long, a carpenter on the $1.1 billion project.

Long spoke yesterday after U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius toured the site of the Cancer & Critical Care Tower, which is rising over the Ohio State campus.

Brown and Sebelius touted the $100 million in federal funding through the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act — President Barack Obama’s controversial health-care plan — that is paying for a radiation oncology floor.

Under the act, Sebelius said, “One institution in the country was going to get $100 million.” Ohio State won that competition last year and added the radiation floor to its original plans, already under way.

The project is not only creating jobs — currently for construction workers and, after it opens in 2014, for health-care workers — but also is coming at a time when advances in cancer research are reaching critical mass, she said.

“This will help save lives,” Sebelius said.

Brown, a Democrat from Cleveland, talked up the health-care act, both as a job creator through the grant to Ohio State and as an aid to families who can now keep children on their insurance up to age 26 and can’t be denied insurance because of their children’s pre-existing conditions.

“Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans have already benefited from this law,” he said.

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