COLAC’S new cancer treatment facility, the Frank Minchinton Centre, takes its name from the late potato farmer who donated $150,000 to the centre’s development.
Colac Area Health’s board revealed the name on Saturday and also decided to name a treatment room inside the centre the Margaret Tann Treatment Room to show recognition for a $75,000 donation from Mrs Tann’s estate.
Mrs Tann’s husband Norm officially opened the centre on Saturday during a community event at the hospital.
The health organisation’s chief executive officer Geoff Iles said naming the centre and the treatment room after Mr Minchinton and Mrs Tann was a great way to recognise their contributions to the facility.
Colac Area Health hosted tours of the new facility as well as tours of the hospital during the opening.
The Colac Area Health Foundation’s community campaign the Long Road Appeal, launched in August 2014, helped raise more than $300,000 from community members and groups to build the treatment centre.
The health organisation’s board chair Max Arnott said having the cancer centre open in less than two years was because of an “outstanding level of community support and understanding”.
Mr Arnott said that cancer service was the first significant development for the hospital and the board hoped to use the Long Road Appeal to establish more treatment opportunities at Polwarth House.
“To continue the theme, the board is seeking to bring a greater range of specialist services closer to home and to do so is seeking your support to establish suitable facilities in Polwarth House to accommodate specific need and requirement of these services,” he said.
Former Colac Area Health Foundation chairman Richard Riordan said community donations had paid for the building of the cancer centre and it was a tribute to the Colac community.
“I just think it’s one of the best things that has happened to Colac in a long time, end of story,” he said.
“It looks good and it’s been done quite well and the benefits of that are starting to come through.”
Construction started on the centre in November last year after the appeal raised its $250,000-fundraising goal in eight months.
The centre will offer low-risk cancer treatment to patients, helping them avoid the long drive to Geelong and back for treatments.
The centre accepted its first patients last month.