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CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Memorial Hospital Foundation received a $3.1 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to be used toward the purchase of new cancer radiation equipment.

The equipment will be located in the Cancer Treatment Center and Medical Office Building currently under construction at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, according to a media release.

The mission of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is to help in rural areas and places that can't afford to buy their own equipment.

The grant means that for the first time, people in Sweetwater County won't have to travel to receive cancer treatment, said Gary Collins, the hospital's marketing and public relations manager.

Al Harris, president of the Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, said the equipment will allow for cancer diagnosis and treatment and full radiation therapy.

"Personally, as a cancer survivor, I fully understand the impact of this donation and what this means to the community,” Harris said in the release.

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This is the second award the hospital foundation has received from the Helmsley trust. The first, in 2011, was to purchase the digital mammography system at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, the most advanced of its kind in the area.

The money also was spent to remodel the digital mammography suite for patients.

As a result of the installation and remodeling, the hospital was recognized as the only "pink ribbon" facility in the region, based on its commitment to excellence in breast health and to the women in the community, the hospital release said.

The announcement of the new grant was one of many hospital partnerships in the past year.

The hospital also signed an affiliation agreement with the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics in October and is working with the Huntsman Cancer Institute in the design of the Cancer Treatment Center, Jerry Klein, chief executive officer of Memorial Hospital, said in the release.

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