Founded in 2004 thanks to a generous donation by its namesakes, the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center is a world-class facility located in Farmington, CT. Our mission is to treat and cure cancer patients with integrated multidisciplinary clinical programs, cutting-edge research, and supportive teams of caregivers. These caregivers include oncologists, surgeons, plastic surgeons, pathologists, geneticists, nurses, physical therapists, nutritionists, social workers, and patient advocates who are all specially trained in the needs of our cancer patients.
We also have a group of experienced nurse navigators who will guide patients through each phase of care, explain procedures, make sure that all necessary tests are done, and help keep patients from becoming overwhelmed by their cancer diagnosis.
Our practitioners communicate with each other through multidisciplinary team discussions (Tumor Board meetings) where each patient’s individual treatment plan is designed. We also have a palliative care program to support families and patients in managing the symptoms of their cancer treatment. Our professionals can address the varied needs of our patients while also addressing the needs of the family.
One of the distinctions between a major university center like UConn Health and a non-university hospital is the availability of new therapies. The Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center provides access to new therapies through its participation in national cooperative group trials, phase II consortia, industry-sponsored trials, and new therapeutic agents that have been developed at the University of Connecticut.
We also offer minimally invasive approaches including robotic surgery, provide fertility consultations to preserve fertility in young patients diagnosed with cancer, and offer new treatments in plastic and reconstructive surgery that deliver previously unattainable outcomes.
Connecting with others going through similar experiences can help patients cope with their diagnosis and allow them to seek solutions more openly. It can also improve quality of life and restore hope. Because of this, we offer support groups that help build these connections and create a community to support each other during this difficult time.
About Carole and Ray Neag
None of this would be possible without the generosity of Carole and Ray Neag. They have a long history of philanthropic support for the University of Connecticut and UConn Health. Their motivation is simple: to improve the lives of Connecticut families today and in years to come.
In 2004, the Neags made an extraordinary $10 million gift – the largest philanthropic donation in UConn Health’s history – to the cancer program, now called the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center. This generous gift continues to support cancer research and clinical services. Their lasting goal is that Connecticut residents will never have to travel far for world-class cancer care.
“We have seen firsthand the advances that are occurring daily within the Cancer Center and understand the tremendous implications for those whose lives are affected by this disease,” Ray Neag said.
In recent years, the Neags’ generosity has continued. In 2006, they made a substantial gift that allowed UConn Health to obtain the first TomoTherapy radiation oncology system in Connecticut. This truly revolutionary treatment targets tumors with unprecedented precision while protecting healthy tissue.
In 2008, the Neags’ generosity allowed UConn Health to create an integrated imaging suite, allowing for a faster, more comfortable, and more precise diagnosis along with planning and treatment services. This suite included a high-end, multi-slice scanner that perfectly serves UConn Health’s missions of research, education, and clinical care.
In 2014, they made a gift of $3 million, to expand its groundbreaking research on genomics-guided cancer treatment, which has great promise for developing innovative therapies for fighting the disease.
This gift supports research at the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center to develop new medical treatments tailored to each patient’s unique genetic makeup.
"This gift is yet another example of the thoughtful and visionary generosity so characteristic of Carole and Ray Neag,” says Dr. Pramod Srivastava, director of the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Through it, they are not only supporting us, but also challenging us to rise to the demands of our times and fulfill one of our core missions, research.”
The gift was used to establish the Neag Cancer Immunology Translational Research Program in the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at UConn Health, and to support clinical trials and supporting activities in cancer immunology based on original research at UConn Health.
Connecticut has long been in the hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Neag, both natives of Torrington. Ray Neag was also a graduate of UConn and the retired co-founder and vice chairman of Arrow International, Inc., a leading manufacturer of disposable critical care and cardiac products for the medical industry. Previous donations to the University have supported the Neag School of Education at Storrs and the cardiology program at UConn Health.
Ray Neag passed away peacefully April 19, 2018, surrounded by Carole Neag, other family and close friends at his home in Goshen, Connecticut. Carole Neag is continuing their ongoing work with passion and dedication. In the words of Dr. Srivastava, director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, “Ray Neag was a star—luminous, warm, and brilliant. He radiated light, light of generosity, light of love of others. The body of the stars eventually disappears, but their light travels forever. The light of Ray Neag’s generosity similarly continues to illuminate the world in so many brilliant hues today, as it will in the times to come.”
Pramod K. Srivastava, Ph.D., M.D.
Professor of Immunology and Medicine
Eversource Energy Chair in Experimental Oncology
Director, Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center
Susan H. Tannenbaum, M.D.
Associate Professor, Medicine
Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology
Service Chief, Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center
Biree Andemariam, M.D.
Director, New England Sickle Cell Institute
Associate Director, Bone Marrow Transplant Program
Director, Connecticut Bleeding Disorders Center
Molly A. Brewer, D.V.M., M.D., M.S.
Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology