Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. announced a $216 million plan on Wednesday that would boost funding for cancer treatment, prevention and research in Maryland.
The investment, which uses a historic budget surplus to invest in projects prioritized by Hogan (R) and legislative leaders, was formally introduced as a supplemental budget amendment in the General Assembly.
Nearly half of the additional funding — $100 million — will expand services provided by the University of Maryland Medical System’s Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore. In a statement, Kevin J. Cullen, the center’s director, said the funding “will benefit thousands of Marylanders whose lives are touched by cancer each year.”
“We are committed to providing world-class cancer care and advancing the science to find new, innovative ways to treat this terrible disease,” he said.
The funding agreement will also provide $67 million to fully fund construction of the Prince George’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in Largo. Hogan, County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) and UMMS officials are expected to take part in a groundbreaking ceremony next week.
“A dedicated, comprehensive regional cancer center in Prince George’s County will provide access to care within a county that has long been challenged with a high incidence of cancer among African Americans,” said University of Maryland Capital Region Health CEO Nathaniel Richardson, Jr.
“This funding is essential in our efforts to combat disease and it will dramatically improve the quality of life for many residents who will no longer have to travel to another jurisdiction to receive high quality care,” he added.
Hogan, a two-time cancer survivor, dubbed the funding the “Maryland Cancer Moonshot Initiative,” a phrase borrowed from a federal effort launched by President Barack Obama and spearheaded by then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2016.
“The reality is that cancer is a disease that has touched nearly every one of us, through family or loved ones,” the governor said in a statement. “On the day I found out I was cancer-free, I pledged that as long as I am governor and long after, I will stand with all those who are fighting this terrible disease.”
The agreement will also provide:
* $25 million for cancer research at the the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University
* $20.5 million for the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, for research on “regenerative” treatments
* $1 million to boost pediatric cancer research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
* $2.5 million for the Maryland Tech Council, for “talent development” and outreach to students in underserved communities.
About $46 million of the supplemental budget proposal had been included in budget plans by lawmakers before the introduction of Wednesday’s amendment.