In recognition of Elsie Franz Finley’s decades of support (totaling more than $62 million) Providence Portland Medical Center has named the radiation oncology department in her honor: The Elsie Franz Finley Radiation Oncology Center.

In January 2020, patients will begin benefiting from a new radiation technology there. A gift from Franz Finley, it uses MRI-guided radiation for pinpoint accuracy to maximize tumor killing and minimize damage to normal tissue. Providence is the first in the Pacific Northwest to offer it.

Franz Finley, who died in 2018 at age 97, graduated from University of Oregon in 1943 with a business degree and began a long career in banking with her brother Robert and husband, Don Finley, at the family’s First State Bank of Milwaukie. That institution became Pacific Western Bank and merged with KeyBank in 1986. This was a time when there were few visible female leaders. “Elsie said she made her money in Oregon, and she wanted it to stay in Oregon,” said her financial adviser and friend, Janeen McAninch, chief executive officer of Becker Capital Management.

Providence has benefited from the support of Franz Finley and her brother for more than 30 years. The siblings’ longtime relationship with Providence Portland Medical Center resulted in the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center, led by Dr. Walter Urba.

The center’s main area of investigation is cancer immunotherapy, a specialized field of study focused on triggering the immune system to fight cancer. Urba and his colleagues are leaders in the field.

“I think it’s fair to say we wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for their gifts early on when we were just getting started,” said Urba. “They helped us get off the ground, they helped us recruit our initial investigators, they helped support us every step of the way as we learned what it takes to be a successful research center.”

Together the Franz siblings gave more than $100 million to Providence, which supported a range of programs from cancer research to caring for medically fragile children.

“Elsie and Bob’s generosity has helped us hire amazing minds and expand our cancer research space,” said Kelly Buechler, interim chief philanthropy officer for Providence Foundations of Oregon.

Franz Finley’s most recent gift designations include $13.4 million for cancer research; $4.5 million for the MR Linac; $4.4 million for genomic technology and researchers; $1.3 million for oncology nursing education; and $1 million each for palliative care and an oncology nutrition program.

In addition to supporting Providence Cancer Institute, Franz Finley gave generously to Providence Milwaukie Hospital’s Family Residency Program, Providence Child Center, and the Gilbert Chair for Infectious Diseases at Providence Portland Medical Center.

“She had an impact on Providence that will be felt for generations,” said Buechler.