Cover Story: Worth The Gamble
As the NVCI grows and offers more services to more patients, its potential donor base grows with it. But the sensitive nature of its work requires an equally sensitive approach, especially as medical fundraising faces privacy laws such as the Health Insurance Accountability and Portability Act.
“We now have grateful patients, and we realize that a grateful patient program will become a big part of our future,” Gitomer says, adding that the NVCI plans to reach out to current and former patients very delicately.
Looking to the future
The NVCI anticipates welcoming 5,000 new patients annually, which translates to about 200 patient visits daily or several hundred thousand patient visits yearly. To meet that demand, the NVCI will increase its total staff from 168 to about 200 by year’s end.
The NVCI also is looking to the construction of its second building, which will be contiguous to the first. Although no official groundbreaking date has been released, the NVCI has acquired the land.
“Every great cancer center started with one building, and for us to deliver the spectrum and array of services we want to deliver to this community, we need to be bigger,” Gitomer says. “We want to offer these services in one location, so that people, literally, from soup to nuts, walk in the front door and are able to stay on one campus.”
Future plans include other locations in Las Vegas and a satellite operation in northern Nevada.
Gitomer says now that the NVCI’s first facility is open, and donors have visited, they’re proud to have been a part of the effort and to have given.
“They really know their money was well invested, and they’ve started to say, ‘I know other people who would be interested,’” she says.
“In the beginning, we told people, ‘We’re going to make you proud. Yes, we’re asking for a gift of an unprecedented amount. But we’re going to make you proud,’” Gitomer concludes. “Now, we’ve delivered on this, and we have a lot of very happy founders.”