The celebration featured remarks from SHS CEO Larry Mullins, DHA; oncologist Peter Kenyon, MD; Patrick Hazleton, cancer survivor; Steve Uerlings, chair of the Samaritan Cancer Campaign, and Pen Pastega of the Pastega Family Foundation. Musical entertainment was provided by Georgiana Rodriguez and Nancy Higgins.
When complete, the Samaritan Pastega Regional Cancer Center will bring together cancer services, which are currently spread across the medical center’s campus. The new facility will be located next to the current radiation oncology building, and together the two will house all cancer services in one location, including medical oncology, expanded chemotherapy infusion services, radiation oncology, laboratory services, advanced imaging services and a cancer resource center.
Currently, cancer patients often find themselves traveling between different locations across the Samaritan Health Services system in order to receive care.
On Tuesday, I had an ultrasound exam and echocardiogram; Wednesday a bone marrow biopsy; Thursday I started my seven-day inpatient stay for chemotherapy,” explained Hazleton during his remarks.
In that ten-day period, we went to three different SHS sites...and nine different buildings or offices."
The new center will allow for additional oncology providers, increasing the number of oncology patients Samaritan is able to care for each year to 10,000. It will also greatly expand oncology research capabilities by giving Samaritan the ability to be a partner with national cancer care programs.
The center will also feature a comprehensive patient navigation program, offering personal guidance to patients and their families through all aspects of their care.
The new center will allow our patients to have a centralized one-stop-shop when it comes to radiation oncology instead of having to go to different locations for their care,” said Mullins. “We’re excited to be able to provide this convenience to our patients and their families.
A $12-million-dollar fundraising campaign, the largest in Samaritan’s history, is now underway by the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation. It includes $9 million to build and furnish the new facility, $2 million to update the existing radiation oncology center, including technology, and $1 million to develop a regional patient navigation program and resource center.