American Cancer Society to break ground for AstraZeneca Hope Lodge in Philadelphia

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Society ready to give hope a home in Southeastern Pennsylvania

The American Cancer Society, Pennsylvania Division, will break ground on its new AstraZeneca Hope Lodge of the American Cancer Society on Thursday, May 24, at 10:30 a.m., at 100 Laurel Avenue in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. The ceremony will prepare the way for a 30,000-square-foot facility that will annually provide free temporary lodging for an average of 1,300 cancer patients who must travel to Philadelphia for outpatient treatment.

Those putting the first shovels in the ground will be Garry Pincock, CEO of the Society’s Pennsylvania Division; Tony Zook, President and CEO of AstraZeneca LP, the naming sponsor of Hope Lodge; Dr. Robert Young, President of Fox Chase Cancer Center; and Hope Lodge Campaign Committee Co-chairs Dr. Howard B. Kessler, Department of Radiology Chair at Holy Redeemer Hospital, and Mitchell L. Morgan, Esq., CEO of Morgan Properties.

“It’s exciting to know that when it opens in late 2008, the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge will provide 37 private guest suites and over 13,500 free nights of lodging each year. These guests will also have access to a community living room, dining room, kitchen, library, exercise room and laundry facilities, ” said Mitchell Morgan.

“The Lodge will lessen the burden of traveling for the best and most appropriate cancer care, as most insurance does not cover the loss of income, transportation or lodging associated with treatment,” added Dr. Kessler. 

AstraZeneca Hope Lodge is being built on property donated by Fox Chase Cancer Center. Located just blocks from Fox Chase, it is ideally situated near the many major cancer centers in the Philadelphia area. Free transportation will also be provided to the various hospitals.

With its U.S. headquarters also in the Delaware Valley, AstraZeneca creates its second presence with its $2 million naming gift on Hope Lodge. According to Tony Zook, President and Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca U.S., the project was a perfect fit for the company.

"Patients are at the center of everything we do at AstraZeneca. With a 30-year history of discovering and developing some of the world's leading oncology products, AstraZeneca is committed to giving patients access to the medicines and care they need to live longer, healthier lives. The new AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Philadelphia will ensure that more patients can take advantage of the high-quality cancer care that the greater Delaware Valley offers, and will enable their families to be here with them for support and encouragement. This new facility, along with the first AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Boston currently under construction, is testament to our primary mission of making healthcare a more meaningful and personal experience."

For campaign committee member George Forde, Hope Lodge is a very personal project. “I first heard of Hope Lodge when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2001, and decided on treatment at a clinic in Georgia. When we walked into the Hope Lodge in Atlanta, my wife and I immediately experienced the friendliness of Hope Lodge, guests and staff alike. The psychological side to the illness is huge. Hope Lodge was a place to share a difficult time in a way that plays a major role in the effectiveness of the treatment.”

The volunteer campaign committee is seeking approximately $10 million to build the Hope Lodge. To date, over $7 million has been raised. The facility will be the second American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Pennsylvania; the first is located in Hershey. The Society currently operates 23 Hope Lodges nationwide, serving more than 20,000 cancer patients and their caregivers every year, with 20 more Hope Lodges in various stages of planning in cities across the U.S.

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1.800.ACS.2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $26.47 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.

In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $12.44 billion healthcare business with more than 12,000 employees. For nearly three decades, AstraZeneca has offered drug assistance programs side by side with its medicines, and over the past five years, has provided over $3 billion in savings to more than 1 million patients throughout the US and Puerto Rico. AstraZeneca has been named one of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” by Working Mother magazine and is the only large pharmaceutical company named to FORTUNE magazine’s 2007 list of “100 Best Companies to Work For.” In 2006, for the fifth consecutive year, Science magazine named AstraZeneca a “Top Employer” on its ranking of the world’s most respected biopharmaceutical employers.

For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com

Media Contacts:

Heather Collins, American Cancer Society 215-985-5334
Donna Huang, AstraZeneca 302-650-7905