The hospital will help patients with gas cards, taxi vouchers, loding and meal assistance.

Tuality Healthcare Foundation raised more than $195,000 during its annual fundraiser, the company announced this week.

With help from 200 guests, the Foundation's Derby Gala was presented by Farmington Gardens.

The funds will provide travel and accommodation assistance for patients away receiving treatment at OHSU Tuality Healthcare, and may include capital improvements and state of the art equipment investments in Tuality's cancer care facilities, the Foundation said in a statement.

"The community's extraordinary generosity will help our neighbors, friends, and family members access the care they need, when they need it most," OHSU Tuality Healthcare president Lori James-Nielsen said. "This is what community is all about."

An increasing number of patients traveling daily from coastal and rural communities to receive chemotherapy and radiation. according to spokeswoman Maria McCandless.

"With treatments lasting an average of five weeks, for some the added cost and stress of travel can mean missing appointments, preventing patients from successfully completing their care," McCandless said. "For local patients, finding a reliable ride to and from appointments can be challenging without a support network of friends and family.

Candless said the hospital will set up a "cancer care fund" to help patients with pre-paid gas cards, taxi vouchers, lodging and meal assistance.

In 2018, the Tuality Healthcare Foundation launched goal one of the "On the Road to Prevention" campaign: the purchase of a $1 million state-of-the-art mammography van to increase access to life-saving, preventative care. To date, more than $700,000 has been raised toward the purchase of the van, and fundraising will continue until completed, McCandless said.

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