$2 Million Gift To Fund Park At New James Cancer Hospital

December 20, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With her $2 million pledge to fund the Phyllis A. Jones Legacy Park in front of the new Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, Phyllis A. Jones is making good on a promise she made to her late husband, Clayton K. Jones.

Mrs. Jones, former president and CEO of Fiesta Salons, pledged the gift to create the Jones Legacy Park in honor of her late husband, who was among the first patients treated for lung cancer at The James when it opened in 1990.

His physician – the hospital’s namesake Dr. Arthur G. James – would stop by daily to visit with Mr. Jones during his six-week hospitalization.

As he lay in his hospital bed, Mr. Jones told his wife: “‘You take care of The James, honey. They’ve taken care of me,’” recalls Mrs. Jones. “I’ve never forgotten that.”

In fulfilling her promise, Mrs. Jones said she hopes to create a restful, peaceful garden where patients, visitors and staff can seek comfort and solace. The garden will be located on the West Lawn area in front of the new cancer hospital that is part of ProjectONE, the $1 billion Ohio State University Medical Center expansion scheduled for completion in 2014.

Mrs. Jones recalls how she visited her husband for up to 10 hours every day, and knows firsthand the toll taken on family and friends, who often spend days or weeks at a loved one’s hospital bedside.

“Spending that much time at the hospital is hard on you,” says Mrs. Jones, who lives in Powell, Ohio. “This Legacy Park seems like a restful addition to me, and it’s something everybody can enjoy.”

The Jones Legacy Park will include an outdoor area for patients and a children’s play area.

Located at Cannon Drive and 12th Avenue, the tower will include 276 beds in the new James Cancer Hospital and 144 beds in the new critical care building, and is designed to address capacity issues in the Medical Center’s current facilities. It’s anticipated that the expansion will allow the Medical Center to serve 310,000 additional patients annually. The new facilities will feature private rooms with abundant natural light and visual and physical access to green space, which are proven to have a positive impact on patient healing.

“Through this generous donation, countless patients and their families will be able to rest and reflect in this healing park just outside of our state-of-the-art cancer hospital where we are working diligently to create a cancer-free world,” says Dr. Michael Caligiuri, director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

Mrs. Jones, who was born in Kenton, Ohio, and raised in Columbus, has a daughter and a son, three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Three years ago, she sold the successful chain of hair salons she and her husband started together in 1973 with just two shops in Columbus. Through the years, the chain had expanded to 198 salons located in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia, servicing primarily small towns with loyal customers.

“The Legacy Park will be a good addition to the hospital,” says Mrs. Jones. “This will offer people a nice break to get some fresh air while visiting the cancer hospital.”

The naming of the park is subject to approval by the OSU Board of Trustees.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (cancer.osu.edu) is one of only 40 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States designated by the National Cancer Institute. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top cancer hospitals in the nation, The James is the 180-bed adult patient-care component of the cancer program at The Ohio State University. The OSUCCC-James is one of only seven funded programs in the country approved by the NCI to conduct both Phase I and Phase II clinical trials.

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Related Links:

  • Click here for a high-quality photograph of Phyllis A. Jones.
  • Click here for a rendering of the Phyllis A. Jones Legacy Park.

Eileen Scahill
Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations

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