New Proton Therapy Treatment Centre named in Ben Stelter’s honour announced

New Proton Therapy Treatment Centre named in Ben Stelter’s honour announced

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The Centre will be the first of its kind in Canada and offer life-changing treatment for cancer patients

EDMONTON, Alberta — Today, WestCan Proton Therapy Inc. announced their plans to invest in Canada’s first proton therapy treatment centre to be built in Edmonton. The centre will officially be named in honour of Ben Stelter, well-beloved six-year-old superfan and Edmonton Oilers team ambassador whose father, Mike, was a recipient of proton therapy. The Ben Stelter Centre for Proton Therapy and Neuroscience represents approximately $120 million in investment and is expected to create 250+ jobs during construction, as well as up to 100 permanent postions. This marks a historic moment in healthcare advancement in the Edmonton region.

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This much anticipated, high-tech facility will offer some of the most advanced form of radiation treatment for cancer patients in Canada. Proton therapy targets tumors with high-energy protons, minimizing harm to healthy tissue and potentially reducing side effects. This Centre will be the first-of-its kind in Canada and will both improve patient outcomes, while at the same time delivering cost-savings to our health system. This establishment of this cutting-edge facility further positions the Edmonton region as a hub for health technology and research.

Proton therapy, a highly precise form of radiation treatment, has long been sought after by Canadians seeking advanced cancer care. Prior to the establishment of this Centre, patients needed to travel to the US for proton therapy. The facility will allow cancer patients to have access to cutting-edge treatment options closer to home, eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming travel, which is often out of reach for some patients. The facility, which has been supported by The Ben Stelter Foundation, will create a local treatment option for publicly funded patients from Alberta, ensuring all Albertans get access to the treatment they need, when they need it. As the first of its kind in Canada, this facility will also provide access to other Canadians seeking proton therapy treatment.

Quotes:

We’re honored to have Ben’s name on this world-class facility that will help treat both pediatric and adult cancer patients. Ben’s legacy will be honored by not just treating cancer patients, but also through groundbreaking research that will be best-in-class and something that can be shared with facilities worldwide! With the advances and our incredible experience in artificial intelligence and machine learning, coupling that with our amazing physicians, surgeons, researchers and other healthcare practitioners, the possibilities are endless.

– Ashif Mawji, Chair of the Ben Stelter Foundation

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We couldn’t be more proud of our clinical, research, and industry partners who are bringing their experience, excellence, and expertise to this project. At WestCan, we are dedicated to providing the very best in cancer treatment. This facility will ensure that proton therapy is accessible for all Canadians and will serve as a model for future projects around the world. This project has been an all-of-community approach. We are so grateful for the Ben Stelter Foundation, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, the Province of Alberta, Edmonton Global, and the many other Edmonton region partners that have supported this project.

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– Gordon Baltzer, CEO, WestCan Proton Therapy

The unmatched generosity and support from across Alberta through the Oilers 50/50 and other Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation initiatives has not only helped honour the legacy and loving memory of Ben, it has helped fund the Ben Stelter Foundation and led to real progress in the fight against cancer in Oil Country, said Corey Smith, EOCF Board Chair. On behalf of the EOCF, we would like to congratulate the Ben Stelter Foundation, Edmonton Global and WestCan Proton Therapy for bringing proton therapy treatment to Edmonton.

– Corey Smith, EOCF Board Chair

Introducing proton therapy to the Edmonton region marks a significant milestone in enhancing the lives of Canadians. This is a first not only for the Edmonton region, but a first for Canada. We take immense pride in being the chosen location for this remarkable facility dedicated to treating cancer patients. By further cementing the Edmonton region’s position as a hub for life sciences, we’re strengthening the foundation of excellence for future advancements and collaborations in healthcare. With world-leading research, talent, and facilities the Edmonton region is attracting investment and fostering a vibrant ecosystem for groundbreaking research and development.

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– Malcolm Bruce, CEO, Edmonton Global

Bringing a cutting-edge treatment like proton therapy right to our community will benefit cancer patients in Alberta and potentially across all of Canada. We are excited for WestCan and all the community partners as the vision of a more advanced, innovative care is becoming a reality.

– Dr. Jodi Abbott, President & CEO of the University Hospital Foundation.

Our kids deserve the best care the world has to offer. Congratulations to the Ben Stelter Foundation and WestCan for bringing proton therapy to our province.

– Karen Faulkner, Interim CEO and President, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation

We’re thrilled to share our experience from the Roberts Proton Therapy Center at Penn Medicine and look forward to the opportunity to build new collaborations with leading scientists at the University of Alberta through the Ben Stelter Proton Facility and Neuroscience Centre of Excellence,” said James Metz, MD, chair of Radiation Oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “When world-class experts unite across disciplines and institutions, it paves the way for innovation and new insights that can shape future approaches to research and patient care.

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– Dr. Metz, Penn Medicine

About Ben Stelter Foundation:

The Ben Stelter Foundation, a registered Canadian charity, is dedicated to helping families with children battling cancer, particularly Glioblastoma and other types of cancer. The foundation focuses on four main pillars, which include creating magical experiences for children, purchasing medical equipment for those in need, venture philanthropy and investing in research and potential cures for cancer. The foundation started in Edmonton and is expanding across Canada and beyond. More details can be found at: https://benstelterfoundation.com/

Links
Connor McDavid tours Proton Facility: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyJcbQ7tHgo
*Note for media: the following segments would be appropriate for media to pull b-roll from Connor’s visit to Penn Medicine:

  • 3:19-3:43
  • 4:31-4:46
  • 5:19-5:28

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240314708409/en/

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Contacts

Media: BSF Team benstelterfoundation@gmail.com

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