Johns Hopkins to use $65-million gift to expand cancer care center

Albert "Skip" Viragh. (Courtesy Photo)

BALTIMORE, Md. (WJLA) - Johns Hopkins announced Tuesday that it will use a recent $65-million gift to build a new patient care building for its Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The building will be named after its biggest benefactor, the late Albert P. "Skip" Viragh, a Maryland mutual fund investment leader and philanthropist. Viragh died from pancreatic cancer in 2003 at the age of 62.

The Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Building is slated for completion in 2017 and will be funded mostly by philanthropic gifts, Johns Hopkins representatives said in a statement Tuesday. The new facility, to rise on the southeast corner of Fayette Street and North Broadway in East Baltimore, "will serve as the primary entry point for cancer care on the medical center campus."

“Skip was an innovator in his world of personal finance, and, through his legacy gifts, he continues to partner with Johns Hopkins innovators in cancer care,” says William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “The new building will be far more than a place for physician visits and diagnostic scans. It will be the place where we’ll explore novel ways to deliver cancer care and cures.”

Johns Hopkins currently serves more than 10,000 new cancer patients each year across five sites in Maryland, Nelson says.

Outpatient cancer care across the U.S. is anticipated to increase by 35 to 40 percent over the next 10 to 15 years, he adds, underscoring the need for increased space.