PALM COAST, Fla. (June 11, 2023) – When you meet a physician on a mission, it’s best to pay attention. That’s what Tony Papandrea, chairman of the AdventHealth Palm Coast Foundation did when oncologist Padmaja Sai, MD said they needed a cancer center here locally.

Fast-forward to 2023, and hospital administrators Denyse Bales-Chubb, President/CEO of the AdventHealth Palm Coast’s main campus and Flagler/St. Johns markets, and Wally De Aquino, President/CEO of the new AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway campus provided an official ‘sneak peek’ of the new cancer center aptly named the Freytag Health Plaza.

Philanthropy at its best, Peter and Sue Freytag are an example of investing in your community. Recognized in 2015 as the ‘Humanitarians of the Year’ by the AdventHealth Palm Coast Foundation (formerly Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation), not only were they major donors contributing to the Freytag Children’s Rehabilitation Center through AdventHealth in 2011, but the couple is a longtime supporter of the Flagler County Education Foundation’s Take Stock In Children Program. They were recognized as ‘Philanthropists of the Year’ in 2017 by the Volusia/Flagler Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Peter and Sue Freytag. ©Flagler News Weekly/Danielle Anderson

“I think this health plaza has been in the works for a while but Palm Coast is growing so fast, and we really do need a cancer center, plaza, here for our community. Everyone knows someone who has cancer or has had cancer, someone in the family. We have a number of people that have had cancer in our family. With this, they can come and be diagnosed with the doctors, all the equipment is here, they don’t have to go out of the community,” said Sue Freytag.

“I think this, with the new hospital, this hospital, it’s just a win-win for our community.”

“I think one reason is we’ve been pretty lucky with our finances, and we’ve had the capability we could do it. That’s one reason. Another reason is we feel that school system, they needed our help, they asked for it, and we gladly provided it,” shared Peter Freytag of the couple’s focused giving.

“We came from the midwest, we came from Illinois. When we were there, we contributed to interests back there – our universities, the college where we lived, anything that was community-wise,” added Sue.

“But this is our home now and it’s been our home for about 20 years. We want to give back to this community. As Peter said, the first thing you do is take care of your loved ones, your family, then you need to give back. Back to the community, to something you’re passionate about.”

Watching as the signage was unveiled announcing the Freytag Health Plaza, foundation director John Subers was proud of the team effort put forward to make it a reality.

“This has been a Foundation talking point with the AdventHealth administration for years and the Foundation was always a part of wanting and needing a standalone cancer center. We’ve been raising money for this for three years through all of our donors and they’ve been pooling the dollars. So really, without the Foundation dollars, the administration would not have agreed to put this facility in,” he said.

AdventHealth Palm Coast Foundation Chairman Tony Papandrea and Foundation Director John Subers. ©Flagler News Weekly/Danielle Anderson

“It’s great for our community, great for all the cancer survivors, the families and what’s in the future. We know how bad cancer is, so it’s wonderful. The Freytags helped make it a reality, and our Foundation will be a part of it for years to come,” said Subers.

Known for his genuine commitment to making access to healthcare an option for everyone, Tony Papandrea solidified why it’s so important for those involved with healthcare to have vision and persistence.

“I made a promise to Dr. Sai years ago that we would build her a cancer center and to have her name associated with it. She is a world-class oncologist and that will bring all kinds of good things to Flagler County. The biggest thing is people with any kind of cancer do not have to leave home to get treated and cured. We’re privileged to be able to fundraise to be able to help do that,” he said before switching back into cheerleader mode.

“Everyone has three things in mind when they look to give money. Everyone has a favorite charity, everyone has a church they give to, we ask them to put us third on the list. And the biggest thing of all, is no donation is too large,” he said, drawing a chuckle.

With a groundbreaking tentatively set for the fall, AdventHealth Palm Coast President and CEO Denyse Bales-Chubb said they are doing their part to recruit and retain top physicians by providing them with world class facilities and technology to support their patients.

“Right now we know that we have community members who have been diagnosed with cancer who are having to travel outside of the community for their care. I think the importance is that we’re going to be able to provide that care here locally,” said Bales-Chubb.

“In a community like this and in this environment where doctors have so many different options, for us to be able to find a physician like Dr. Sai and retain her here is a true blessing for the community. She is completely dedicated to the community and what she does as far as improving the lives of those who have been diagnosed with cancer, and she is also dedicated to making sure she continues to add additional physicians to her group so that they can continue to grow those services.”