November 16, 2009
Southcoast breaks ground on new Cancer Center in Fairhaven
The center will create about 40 new permanent jobs and about 250 temporary construction jobs.
"This is a very exciting day for Southcoast, the town of Fairhaven and everyone who resides throughout the region as we gather to mark the beginning of our promise to bring the very best, seamless cancer care to the entire South Coast," John B. Day, President & CEO of Southcoast Health System.
The new Southcoast Center for Cancer Care, scheduled to open in early 2011, will ensure coordinated, high-quality, streamlined care for cancer patients and their families. It brings together state-of-the-art radiation therapy and medical oncology, such as chemotherapy, in a beautiful and peaceful setting conveniently located off Interstate 195 in Fairhaven. The new outpatient center will also have the very latest advanced technology — from radiation therapy to diagnostic testing and imaging — to meet the growing needs of the region's cancer patients.
The Fairhaven center will be the flagship outpatient center for Southcoast Hospitals' cancer services program, which currently includes radiation therapy and medical oncology in Fall River and medical oncology in North Dartmouth. The North Dartmouth center will relocate to Fairhaven when the center opens in early 2011.
In July, Southcoast Hospitals opened its Southcoast Center for Cancer Care in Fall River in the Mitchell Building at Charlton Memorial Hospital. The Fall River center offers a full range of oncology services, including advanced radiation therapy, medical oncology at Charlton's Jarabek Center, support services and free valet parking. The Fall River location will serve as the satellite location to the Fairhaven center.
The estimated cost for both the new Fairhaven and Fall River cancer centers is about $60 million. The Fairhaven building project will create up to 250 temporary construction jobs over the life of the project. The center will employ about 55 staff, of which about 40 will be permanent new clinical and support jobs.
Meeting a Growing Need
"Having the new Southcoast Center for Cancer Care located here, in Fairhaven, is extremely important because, until now, those who live east of New Bedford had the most difficulty accessing cancer care that was close to home and convenient," said Elizabeth H. Kunz, Esq., Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Southcoast Hospitals Group.
There is a growing need for cancer treatment in the region and Southcoast is committed to making sure patients have access to the very latest technology and care delivered by a dedicated and experienced staff. Currently patients in the eastern section of the region may receive fragmented care and, in many cases, travel great distances for cancer treatments, many of which require daily visits.
Leading the clinical team is Therese M. Mulvey, MD, a board-certified physician in medical oncology and internal medicine, who will serve as the Physician-in-Chief for oncology services for both the Fairhaven and Fall River centers.
"Our new services, staff and locations are designed with one goal in mind — to bring our patients and their families the very best cancer treatment possible and make it available right here in your own community," Dr. Mulvey said. "It is important that the South Coast communities have access to high-quality oncology services without having to travel. We hope to empower patients to receive high-quality care in their own communities, with shared decision making among specialists and patients."
Unique to Southcoast's program is the dedicated "Patient Navigator." The Patient Navigator is a "go-to" person to help coordinate appointments, answer questions and point patients and families in the right direction and guide patients through their care. The Patient Navigator manages all aspects of the patient's care, including appointments with physicians, radiology and laboratory services, medication and pain management, support services, transportation and any questions the patient or family members may have during their visit or after they return home.
"Southcoast is able to commit to building this center — to bringing the very best medical team here — because we know we can count on the support of our communities to help build this exceptional new cancer center," said Carl Ribeiro, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Southcoast Health System. "On behalf of the Boards of Trustees for both the Health System and Hospitals Group, I want to extend my sincere gratitude for your ongoing generosity. This new cancer center is a testament to our communities' good will and unwavering support and will make a difference in thousands of lives going forward."