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A Nebraskan’s View

A Leader in the Fight Against Cancer

By Senator Ben Nelson

A friend of mine recently had life-saving cancer surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. His first doctors, who were not with UNMC, told him this specialized surgery was not done in Nebraska…. That he’d have to go to the Mayo Clinic.

My friend is now referring to UNMC as “Mayo on the Missouri” because he had the surgery here and it was a resounding success.

UNMC Has International Reputation

Patients come to UNMC from throughout Nebraska and around the world for life-saving cures and treatment especially when it comes to cancer.  UNMC’s impressive Eppley Cancer Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases is a leader in its field.

The Eppley Institute is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It is a premier research facility not only for life-saving treatments and cures but for educating our young people, employing our citizens, and as a driving force for economic development in Nebraska. After a half century the seven-story Eppley Institute is in need of an upgrade.

Stimulus Funding for UNMC

Last week, I was able to be on hand when UNMC’s Chancellor, Dr. Harold Maurer, announced that they have been awarded $8 million in federal stimulus funding for a major renovation of the Eppley Institute. It is one of the largest stimulus funding awards in Nebraska to date and brings to $19.3 million the total of stimulus funds received by UNMC.

It is a perfect example of what federal stimulus dollars were meant for…. To keep institutions like UNMC on the cutting edge of medical technology while creating jobs now and well into the future.

The 75 jobs created to renovate the half century old building are just the beginning. When it’s done there may be as many as 30 researchers and staff on the job finding cures for cancer.

In total, the federal stimulus package has provided Nebraska with millions of dollars and thousands of jobs to help the nation recover from the recession.

Jobs and Tax Cuts

Recently the White House issued a statement citing a federal report that shows 16 thousand Nebraska  jobs created or saved as of the first quarter of this year that are directly attributed to the stimulus package.

Nationwide, the money has created 2.5 million jobs as of the first quarter this year over what it would otherwise have been.

When talking about the stimulus package we don’t want to forget the tax cuts it brought for everyone. One third of the package went for tax cuts. That amounts to $337 billion dollars which is one of the biggest tax cuts in history.

In Nebraska it means that 680,000 Nebraskans will keep about $6.7 million of their hard-earned money in their own pockets every week.

The federal stimulus package continues to pay off for Americans in the form of tax cuts, jobs created or saved now and in the future and life saving research at UNMC that will benefit not only Nebraska but the entire country.