As reported by the Waterbury Republican, October 24, 2006.

Torrington Natives Give $2.5 Million to UConn Hospital

By Chris Parker

Two Torrington natives have donated $2.5 million to the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, a gift that will allow the facility to be the first in New England to offer a new and innovative type of cancer treatment to patients from throughout the region.

Carole and Ray Neag, who now live in New York, have already donated $1 million to the Warner Theatre in Torrington for the construction of a performing arts center. They said they want the donation to put the health center at the forefront of cancer research and technology.

The new treatment, called Helical TomoTherapy Hi-Art System, is capable of delivering radiation to a precisely mapped section of the body, reducing the amount of healthy tissue exposed to radiation. Doctors use rotating narrow "pencil" beams of radiation to more specifically treat a cancer tumor from all sides, with variable rates of intensity. Center leaders called the treatment more accurate than traditional methods, which involve using radiation over a larger part of a person's body.

"This technology fits in perfectly with our mission and vision to provide state-of-the-art care to the residents of Connecticut," said Carolyn Runowicz, director of the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center and president of the American Cancer Society. "The addition of TomoTherapy is a tremendous asset to our patients and our medical staff."

The health center will have its TomoTherapy up and running by next summer. Currently, there are only about 100 such systems worldwide.

Before a patient receives TomoTherapy, a detailed three-dimensional image is taken of the area being treated. The physician then uses special software to "paint" on the image, identifying specific regions to receive radiation, and areas that will remain untouched.

The Neags have a history of philanthropic support for the University of Connecticut and its health center.

Two years ago, the couple made a $10 million gift -- the largest philanthropic donation in the health center's history -- to the cancer program, now called the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center. That gift will help support cancer research and clinical services.

Ray Neag, a UConn graduate and a retired co-founder of Arrow International, Inc., a leading manufacturer of disposable critical care and cardiac products for the medical industry, said he was introduced to TomoTherapy during his wife's radiation treatments for cancer.

"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," he said.