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Merger should help Cancer House of Hope

Date: 1/18/2011

Jan. 19, 2011

By Katelyn Gendron

Assistant Editor

WESTFIELD — The Cancer House of Hope is getting a new name and a renewed sense of security in these uncertain economic times.

The Cancer House of Hope merged with the Center for Human Development (CHD) on Jan. 1 to become the CHD Cancer House of Hope, allowing for the organization's two locations in Westfield and Springfield to remain open.

"It has been a struggle for quite some time now," Cheryl Gorski, executive director of the Cancer House of Hope, said of the non-profit's financial woes. "We really just wanted to make sure that we have security going forward and that we'll be here for people for years to come."

The two houses will continue to provide free support services for cancer patients and their families.

Gorski noted her organization is still responsible for raising and maintaining its $235,000 annual budget, which includes two full time and one part time employee, but that CHD will now provide administrative and fundraising assistance. The CHD has an annual operating budget of $60 million and employs 1,500 personnel.

"The people at CHD from [CEO and President] Jim Goodwin and the rest of the staff have been very professional and patient in guiding us," she said. "This will also make us a better organization. We really have non-profit professionals behind us for guidance and support."

Goodwin called the merger a necessity. "The programs and services Cancer House of Hope offers are just too important to risk losing," he said.

Expanded services such as those for children and families, homeless prevention, mental health and addiction counseling provided by the CHD will also be open to those at the Cancer House of Hope, Goodwin noted.

For programming information, call the Westfield House, 86 Court St., at 562-0110 or the Springfield House, 946 Plumtree Rd., at 782-5500 or visit

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