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Large bequest could lead to cancer treatment center at Floyd County medical Center

By Mary Pieper, Special to the Press

A large bequest from a Nashua farmer may lead to an oncology clinic and infusion center at the Floyd County Medical Center.

In September 2020, the hospital was left a large sum of money in a will, with the stipulation that the funds were to be used to create a continuum of care for cancer patients.

Herman C. Stille of Nashua owned land in Floyd, Chickasaw and Butler counties, along with stock and bank notes valued at a total of almost $11 million, according to records filed in Chickasaw County District Court.

Stille died Sept. 2, 2020, leaving 20 acres of land and a small amount of cash to friends, $25,000 to a charitable organization, and the rest of his estate to Floyd County Medical Center “for the purpose of establishing a cancer center to serve local area residents if the funds available make such establishment possible.”

Stille’s will stipulated, “The treatment center must have an oncologist on staff, and must be adequate to include office space for oncologists, consultation rooms for patients, separate areas for administering radiation, chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, as well as a family gathering area.”

Dawnette Willis, FCMC chief executive officer, said the medical center “put together a very comprehensive plan that met all of the pieces of the will to the best of our ability and presented that to the executor of the will.”

The only piece of the requested continuum of cancer care FCMC won’t be able to provide onsite is radiation oncology, because it’s not cost effective for a community the size of Charles City to have a linear accelerator, Willis said.

Instead, the plan is to provide or at least assist patients with transportation to Mercy One in Mason City for radiation treatment.

If the executor approves the plan for an oncology clinic and infusion center, FCMC will receive the bequest. If not, FCMC will make corrections to meet the executor’s requirements, she said.

The executor of the estate is Ted Lovrien of Clarksville, a friend of Stille. Stille left Lovrien 20 acres of land in Floyd County, and Lovrien received permission from the court to sell the rest of the land from the estate for $7.315 million in March 2021. In addition there was $1.65 million in stocks and $1.52 million in certificates of deposit and bank accounts and a small amount of personal property.

After $200,000 in fees each to the executor and to the attorney handling the estate, the remainder of the estate is about $10 million.

Stille’s will gives Lovrein complete power – subject to court oversight – to dispose of all of Stille’s assets “upon such terms and conditions as shall seem best” to the executor.

Willis said, “A lot of great things could come from this. It would be a great addition to our already wonderful community hospital that we have. We are super excited about the opportunity and all the ways it would enhance our services.”

For example, FCMC needs more operating room space because of the increased volume in surgeries, but the current facility is “internally landlocked” and can’t be expanded, she said.

The oncology clinic would be an opportunity to create additional operating room space because some cancer patients need surgical procedures, Willis said.

Lab and radiology improvements also will be needed for the cancer patients so they can get a “full, comprehensive experience that will meet their needs,” she said.

Before FCMC officials learned about the possibility of funds to build the oncology clinic and infusion center, their top priority for capital projects had been a new general clinic.

Willis said that clinic has “bumped down a little bit” on the priority list, but it is still in the works, and she said the FCMC board of directors is very supportive of a clinic project.

Stille’s will states that the bequest is “contingent on the Floyd County Memorial Hospital being maintained as an independent hospital.”

“If the Floyd County Memorial Hospital loses its independent status and becomes part of a major healthcare corporation, I give, devise, and bequeath all the rest, residue, and remainder of my property to Mayo Foundation, a Minnesota charitable corporation, Rochester, Minnesota, to be used for Alzheimer’s disease research,” the will says.

— Bob Steenson of the Press added to this report.

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