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$5 Million Donation to Renown Health Foundation Will Increase Access to Breast Cancer Care in Northern Nevada

November 01, 2023

Members of Renown Health team stand in front of specialty care center construction

Gift from Jeanne and Raymond Conrad will support development of the Conrad Breast Center in the new Specialty Care Center at Renown South Meadows Medical Center.

Renown Health Foundation announced a $5 million gift from local philanthropists Jeanne and Raymond Conrad on Monday, Oct 30. This gift will establish the Conrad Breast Center at the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute at Renown. The center will be housed in the Specialty Care Center at Renown South Meadows Medical Center.

The three-story, 121,000 square foot Specialty Care Center being built on the Renown South Meadows Medical Center campus will feature expanded laboratory and diagnostic services, a surgery center and expanded sterile processing department and more. The Conrad Breast Center is the latest addition to the services planned for the Specialty Care Center and will include imaging, infusion and surgery services along with a wellness center.

“With a service area of over 100,000 square miles that serves approximately one million people, Renown sees individuals from all walks of life,” said Jeanne Conrad, philanthropist. “My husband Raymond and I share Renown’s vision for a healthy community and establishing advanced care options for even the most difficult-to-treat cancer cases. We all have been impacted by breast cancer in some way which is why we feel honored to create this legacy.”

According to the National Cancer Institute, 12.9% of women born in the United States will develop breast cancer at some time during their lives (based on 2015–2017 data). Here in Nevada, the American Cancer Society estimates 2,620 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2023 and that 440 Nevadans will die from breast cancer this year.

“Renown Health’s mission to provide best-in-class care in our northern Nevada community and beyond is only possible with generous donors like Jeanne and Raymond Conrad,” said Brian Erling, MD, MBA, Renown Health President & CEO. “This gift establishing the Conrad Breast Center within the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute will positively impact lives in our community for years to come. Cancer does not discriminate and Renown strives to create care environments that cater to all individuals. Our goal is to save lives and ensure better outcomes while keeping families together with convenient care options.”

During the formal announcement of the Conrad Breast Center on Monday, Oct. 30, Renown patient and breast cancer survivor, Carolyn Dragics, spoke about her experience receiving care at Renown. Carolyn emphasized that staying close to home was a crucial part of her care journey. To continue expanding regional cancer care options and keep locals close to home, Renown Medical Group recently welcomed two distinguished breast surgical oncologists, Colleen O'Kelly-Priddy, MD and Michelle K. Chu, MD to the team. As part of this expansion, Renown is assuming operations of Reno Surgical Advocates, a respected private practice in Reno.

“Northern Nevada’s population continues to grow, and Renown is positioning itself to have the appropriate amount of cancer care providers available for everyone who may need it,” said Greg Walaitis, Renown Health Chief Development Officer. “As the region’s largest not-for-profit healthcare system, Renown works tirelessly to provide members of our community with advanced care. This establishing donation from the Conrad family will continue to build Renown’s vision for increasing cancer care options in our region.”

“Every day I am inspired by not only the patients we care for who are fighting the good fight against cancer, but also by the donors like the Conrad family who have given us the opportunity to support our patients in their fight,” said Max Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA, Renown Health’s William N. Pennington Cancer Institute Director.

The Conrad Breast Center is another step towards the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute’s ultimate goal for our community: establishing an NCI-designated Cancer Center in Reno.



About Renown Health

Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe, and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination, and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health.

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