UMC Supports Fred Hutch in Africa

by Gail Kinner

Paul Idzik, UMC Design Engineer, assisting the UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre team with air balancing.

Paul Idzik, UMC Design Engineer, assisting the UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre team with air balancing.

UMC’s own Paul Idzik, Design Engineer, traveled to Uganda this week to assist Fred Hutch in their efforts to open the first comprehensive cancer center jointly built by U.S. and African cancer institutions in sub-Saharan Africa. UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre will accommodate 20,000 outpatient visits a year, as well as housing laboratories for research and rooms for training and conferences. Over two years ago, UMC invested resources to help Fred Hutch with the mechanical design and construction of this unprecedented cancer center.  There were many challenges, but the team remained fully committed to making this project a success for the community and all people who urgently need state-of-the-art cancer treatment in Uganda.

A few days before the UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre grand opening, Paul arrived in Kampala, Uganda to help facility workers fine tune the mechanical equipment.

“Everyone seems really grateful to have us here and helping them with the building.  There are always a large number of facility people and managers observing and learning,” stated Paul in an email. “I shared some airflow calculations with them to use in the future.  Everyone here seems really capable of performing good work, they just need someone to give them a little guidance and set the standard for them.”

Fred Hutch was also pleased with the additional care Paul was able to take on this unique and important project.

“Kudos to Paul for the great work first balancing the systems and then slowly switching to coaching mode and teaching the team here to get proficient with the test equipment ,” said Scott Rusch, VP Facilities & Operations at Fred Hutch.  “I’m super happy with all his efforts.”

After Paul helped the team get the mechanical systems ready for the grand opening, it was time to party!  Uganda-style.  For more details about the celebration, please read Singing, dancing, dignitaries mark opening of UCI-Fred Hutch Cancer Centre.