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Merger set to provide top-notch cancer care

In the last 12 months 191 cancer patients and their family began taking advantage of Gilda's Club services, including "Noogieland" a kid-friendly environment where children learn to cope with cancer.

The free services are provided to a total of 271 members who are provided with education, workshops and social gatherings.

Dr. William Cromie, a cancer survivor and former president and chief operating officer of the Capital District Physicians' Health Plan credited the "courage, vision and tenacity of the groups' leaders touting the cutting edge research the American Cancer Society helps fund.

According to information from the ACS, close to $4.4 million is brought into Capital District research through seven active grants and the ACS is the largest private funding group for cancer research in the U.S.

Diana Martin, ACS regional vice president said if not for the willingness of the two organizations to work together and the "trust on the table on both sides, the merger may never have come to fruition.

She said the two organizations have always complemented each other and now the ability to increases efficiency and the "economy of scale" will help serve 3,300 patients locally.

The ACS Loudonville location will remain active through the merger although One Penny Lane will be the focal point of activity.

"We hope this will serve as a model for collaboration in the non-profit community."

The merger is expected to take a few months with final approval from the New York State Attorney General having the final say in the fall.

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