GREAT FALLS – The Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation announced on Friday a large donation to its capital campaign to build patient housing for cancer patients and others traveling to Great Falls for treatment.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, a partner of the Great Falls Clinic in providing healthcare, will donate $50,000 to the campaign.

This is the third major donation to the foundation. Last month, Dick Anderson Construction donated $60,000 to the foundation. In June Harold and Carmen Poulsen donated $1 million to the foundation. Harold passed away last year.

The Foundation hopes to begin construction on the housing project next year. The housing center will be built next to the Great Falls Clinic Hospital on 15th Avenue South and have 12 rooms with a hotel-like feel and kitchenettes. There will be communal areas indoors, an outdoor patio and RV parking.

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The project will cost an estimated $2.4 million dollars.

According to Great Falls Clinic, there has been a great need in the community for patient housing while receiving outpatient treatment from the Great Falls Clinic. The clinic sees an average of 650 surgical and 400 cancer care patients per month, with approximately 42 percent of those patients traveling from out of town.

”An inviting and comfortable home away from home where patients and their families can rest between treatments is an important part of making a full recovery,” said John Doran, divisional vice president of external affairs and chief of staff at BCBSMT.

Vicki Newmiller, CEO of the Great Falls Clinic, said in a press release, “The community of Great Falls and surrounding areas would benefit greatly from the proposed housing project, especially knowing they are helping some very ill, financially burdened patients. In some patient cancer cases, a course of radiotherapy may take as long as eight weeks to complete, with treatments given daily.”

She added, “Without patient housing available for these patients, they would be required to stay in a hotel, sometimes far away from their treatment center, which only adds to their financial burden.”

For more information, call Sam Shinaberger at 406-771-3107, or email

For more information on the plans for the foundation click here.

MTN’s David Sherman