CSU to host grand opening for veterinary cancer center

FORT COLLINS — Colorado State University on Thursday will host a grand opening for an expanded and improved cancer unit at its Flint Animal Center in Fort Collins.

The Lucy Oncology Clinic — named for a Rottweiler with bone cancer — occupies 4,100 square feet in CSU’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

The $1.75 million renovation is the largest clinical-service upgrade in a series of construction projects that began at the teaching hospital in 2010 and will continue through 2020 at a cost of more than $20 million.

Jeffrey Neu of California, Lucy’s owner, and his brother Robert Neu of New York City made a $1.5 million donation to be used for the renovation. Neu brought Lucy to CSU in 2011 for analysis of the bone cancer using advanced-imaging equipment that is uncommon in veterinary medicine. The scans allowed early detection of metastasized bone cancer. Lucy was treated using chemotherapy and radiation, which extended her life and improved her quality of life until she succumbed to the disease.

The remodel consolidates aspects of patient examination and treatment that previously were scattered through the teaching hospital. The clinic improves efficiencies and communication while providing technological updates that improve patient and staff comfort, such as soundproofing and LED lighting, which mimics the sun’s path.

“It’s an important milestone for the hospital and our cancer center,” said Dr. Rodney Page, an oncologist and director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center. “We are incredibly grateful for all of our friends whose donations have made this renovation possible for the benefit of thousands of companion animal patients that visit us every year.”

Other donors to the project were Bets Keen of Carlisle, Pa.; the estate of Patt Hall of Fort Collins; David and Maxine Pierce of Farmington, Minn., in tribute to their relatives Millard M. and Bertha Mae Schindler; The Elred Foundation and Big Heart Pet Brands. Artwork for the space was donated by Jay Snellgrove, CSU alumnus and artist; framer Brian Hart; and Thomas D. Mangelsen, internationally acclaimed nature photographer.

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