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Key City Council Committee Approves Transfer of Land in Burholme Park to Fox Chase Cancer Center

PHILADELPHIA (November 27, 2007)—A key committee of Philadelphia City Council—the Rules Committee—yesterday, in a unanimous vote, approved Fox Chase Cancer Center's plan to allow the transfer of 19.5 acres of Burholme Park to the Center. The next step in the process will be consideration by the full City Council, which is scheduled for December 6.

"This is an important step forward for Philadelphia that will greatly benefit its citizens and many others throughout the region and the nation," said Robert C. Young, MD, Chancellor at Fox Chase Cancer Center. "We have been in the city for over 100 years and have always hoped that we would be able to remain here and grow."

In addition to keeping Fox Chase's world-class cancer treatment and research center in Philadelphia, the expansion will create approximately 4,000 new jobs through $1 billion of phased development over 20 years and add an estimated $40 million in local tax revenues. The first phase of the proposed expansion has already begun with construction underway of the Cancer Research Pavilion on the Center's existing campus.

The Fox Chase expansion is necessary to accommodate new cancer research and the growing number of cancer patients requiring care each year. In 1980, Fox Chase treated 800 new patients a year. In 2007, Fox Chase will see almost 7,000 new patients with that number expected to double by 2015. Future phases of the Fox Chase expansion plan include a new state-of-the-art hospital, an outpatient treatment center and advanced research facilities.

The Fox Chase expansion plan leaves intact the Burholme Park playground, ballparks, sledding hill and Ryerss Museum. Much of the land to be used is currently being leased for a commercially operated golf concession, which under the proposed agreement will be able to continue operating until Fox Chase needs the land.

The Fairmount Park Commission originally approved the proposed lease in 2006. After City Council approves the plan, the final step will take place in Orphan's Court, which will review the City's ordinance to assure that it complies with the statute that governs the transfer of public lands.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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