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Community generosity leads to upcoming WellSpan York Cancer Center expansion

June 28, 2021

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This renovation and expansion could not have happened without generous individuals, families, business, and community organizations like the Powder Mill Foundation established by the late Louis J. Appell, Jr.  Pictured above is Jody and Louis Appell.

This renovation and expansion could not have happened without generous individuals, families, business, and community organizations like the Powder Mill Foundation established by the late Louis J. Appell, Jr. Pictured above is Jody and Louis Appell.

Throughout his adult life, Louis J. Appell, Jr. was passionate about growing the York community and making it a better place to live for its residents. The former president and CEO of Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff, a fifth-generation family-owned business, Appell invested his time, and his wealth, into the community.

“Mr. Appell was a very strong supporter of the community, and in particular WellSpan Health,” said Michael Hady, President and CEO of the Powder Mill Foundation.

The Powder Mill Foundation was established by Appell in 1993, with a focus on supporting nonprofits throughout York County. When Louis Appell passed away in 2016, his wealth moved into the Foundation.

“Mr. Appell was a generous supporter of WellSpan during his lifetime – giving to vital community benefit programs like the cancer patient help fund and VNA,” said Hady. “He was a significant supporter of the York Hospital Emergency Department redesign project and helped to fund several lectureships for medical education.”

So when a dedicated capital campaign to assist in the renovation and expansion of the WellSpan York Cancer Center at Apple Hill was announced in 2019, Hady and the Powder Mill Foundation jumped at the chance to help.

“We knew immediately that we would be a part of this campaign,” said Hady. “WellSpan’s reputation in town, the importance of what they offer to this community, is stellar. To be able to expand that, particularly in the area of cancer, only raises the level of health care for everyone in the community.”

Donors quick to give to capital campaign

The WellSpan York Health Foundation board announced the capital campaign in April 2019 with a $5 million goal and with a clear vision – to surround patients with the full spectrum of advanced cancer services they may require, all under one roof, with highly coordinated care.

“You may be surprised to learn that the WellSpan York Cancer Center had not been renovated since it was built more than 25 years ago,” said Jeff Lobach, WellSpan York Cancer Center Capital Campaign co-chair. “Yet, because of our long track record of community support, we have remained on the leading edge of care. And, because of your support – even in a time of unforeseen challenges – we are able to honor and fulfill our promise to make sure our community receives the expert and advanced care WellSpan is committed to delivering, both now and well into the future.”

By the end of 2019, $3.25 million was raised toward the $5 million goal. However, unforeseen challenges would lay ahead in the new year.

“When we welcomed in 2020 on New Year’s Eve, we were not counting on facing the unprecedented challenges that would be brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bill Scott, WellSpan York Cancer Center Capital Campaign co-chair. “But our donors are steadfast. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, you honored your commitments and continued your support of the Cancer Center.”

By the time the campaign officially concluded in March 2021, with the opening of the Cancer Center just two months away, the campaign raised a total of $5,669,021 dollars, or 113 percent of the campaign goal.

Thanks to the generous individuals and families, businesses, and community organizations in York County and beyond, including 312 first-time donors, the doors will open to a newly imagined cancer center this summer.

The 67,100 square-foot expansion will provide comprehensive, integrated cancer care in one convenient location, including radiation oncology, outpatient infusion with pharmacist onsite, clinical trials and research, patient navigators and social workers. The expanded center is designed to treat the whole person through the whole journey, from cancer prevention, screening and diagnosis through treatment, to support and recovery, all in one place, with a calm and healing environment.

“This is going to have an incredible impact on this community,” said Hady. “Mr. Appell was always interested in how we can grow York. Giving people great access to health care, giving them access to employment with good benefits – this is what WellSpan provides to the community, and we are so excited to have been able to help in any way we could with this project.”

For more on oncology services provided by WellSpan, visit WellSpan.org/Cancer. For more information on how you can support WellSpan's community-based foundations, including the WellSpan York Health Foundation, visit WellSpan.org/Giving.

WellSpan York Health Foundation Capital Campaign Committee

  • Jeff Lobach, Esq, Co-Chair
  • William J. Scott III, Co-Chair
  • Douglas A. Arbittier, MD, MBA
  • Anthony P. Campisi
  • Joe Crosswhite
  • Nicole L. Dannehl
  • Gregory A. Fortier, MD
  • Michael E. Kochenour
  • Larry J. Miller
  • Keith D. Noll
  • Julie Pandelidis
  • Richard J. Seitz
  • Jolene Tolbert
  • Kathy Turkewitz
  • N. Daniel Waltersdorff
  • William T. Yanavitch II