St. Luke's cancer care facility gets new name

Staff and patients celebrate just after the banner with the old name came down at St. Luke’s in Fruitland on Dec. 3, when Mountain States Tumor Institute revealed its new name: St. Luke’s Cancer Institute.

FRUITLAND — A name change can be challenging for any longtime organization to make, especially a name trusted for quality care. But in helping those new to the area to recognize a service, changing that name can be helpful.

To celebrate caring for cancer patients for 50 years, St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute has made such a name change: They are now St. Luke’s Cancer Institute.

The name change was revealed at a small gathering in Fruitland at noon Tuesday, with all five St. Luke’s sites in southwestern Idaho celebrating simultaneously.

The Fruitland Institute opened in 2002, alongside Twin Falls.

St. Luke’s Cancer Institute Medical Director Dan Zuckerman says changing the name was a tough decision, but was the right move in helping people to know the Institute is part of St. Luke’s.

“The new name better highlights the next generation of cancer treatment and care that St. Luke’s is already delivering,” said Zuckerman in a news release. “We’ve cared for more patients and families across Idaho than anybody and we’ve grown to meet the needs of our community over 50 years.”

Nurse manager Corinne Ramsey says the name helps patients associate the Institute with St. Luke’s.

“As we are more out in the public and out in the broader western United States, we’re recognized that we give cancer care,” she says.

Nurse Practitioner Linda Erlandson adds that the name change reflects the Institute’s character.

“This is what we do here; We want to treat cancer and take care of our patients,” said Erlandson. “As far as the personality of this clinic, I think it’s very unique. I expect us to just keep doing a great job here, like we always have.”

According to St. Luke’s Fruitland Director Catheryne Cianci, the new name helps newcomers to the Treasure Valley feel more at ease.

“I think it’s an opportunity to help us serve more patients,” said Cianci. “As the population increases in Idaho and people come from other states and [using] Google, looking for a cancer institute, now we’ll pop up.”

Cianci said that “MSTI,” the acronym the facility was previously commonly known by, wasn’t search-engine friendly.

Despite the local recognition of the former name, Ramsey pointed out that ‘tumor’ could be off-putting.

“The word ‘tumor’ is not always an acceptable name,” said Ramsey, emphasizing not all people understand the word. “Changing from a … ‘tumor’ center to a ‘cancer’ center helps provide that recognition.

Corey Evan is a reporter at the Independent-Enterprise and Argus Observer. He can be reached at (208) 642-5258 or by emailing coreye@argusobserver.com. To comment on this story, go to www.argusobserver.com.

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