House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attended a groundbreaking ceremony today for a new cancer center at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco.

The new $22.75 million facility, expected to open in 2011, will treat hundreds of cancer patients annually, St. Mary’s Medical Center Foundation spokesman Bruce Burtch said.

Burtch said it will essentially offer one-stop shopping for cancer patients seeking anything from diagnosis to treatment to recovery.

“Patients are often shuttled all over a hospital for different doctors and different tests, but here everything will be located at one place,” he said.

The majority of the funding for the center is coming from Catholic Healthcare West. An employee fundraising campaign raised more than $250,000, Burtch said.

The center also received a $471,000 federal appropriation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a new linear accelerator that will be used in cancer radiation treatments.

Rather than a traditional groundbreaking ceremony using dirt and shovels, Pelosi, Supervisor Eric Mar and other officials were expected to plant healing herbs using trowels painted by students from Star of the Sea School, a Catholic elementary school in the city.

The center will be located on the ground floor of the St. Mary’s Medical Center at 2250 Hayes St.

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