CHARLESTON — Hartley Law Group has donated $500,000 toward West Virginia University Cancer Institute's purchase of a mobile lung cancer screening vehicle.
The vehicle is called the "lung bus" and will be used to provide screenings for lung cancer across the state in an attempt to help decrease lung cancer mortality and to improve the early diagnosis of lung cancer.
R. Dean Hartley said the firm has represented many clients with lung issues over the years.
"We thought it was a good time to give back," Hartley said in an interview with The West Virginia Record.
Hartley said since 1981 the firm has represented clients with mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer and other illnesses. "In 2017 alone there were more than 1,000 people who died of lung cancer," Hartley said. "This will assist in early detection."
Hartley said the firm believed it was important to donate to the cause and that their name won't even be on the bus. "We just wanted to donate for a good cause," he said. "We want to help in any way we can to assist in early detection and decrease the amount of lung cancer deaths."
Lung cancer is the leading cause of deaths in West Virginia with more than 2,00 people diagnosed and 1,507 dead because of it, according to Hartley Law Group's blog post about the donation.
"We hope to make a difference with the lung bus against the battle for cancer in the state," Hartley said.
In July, WVU applied for a certificate of need with the West Virginia Healthcare Authority for the lung bus. The bus is expected to be completed within six months of the approval of the certificate.
Patients who utilize the lung bus must meet national lung cancer screening guidelines and, as part of the screening, they will receive consultation on the importance of ceasing tobacco usage as well as how to stop.
The lung bus will accept Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. There will also be funding available for patients who do not have insurance coverage.