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2/19/2007 3:00:00 AM EASTERN
Updated: 2/19/2007 3:21:16 PM EASTERN
For more information, contact Kelsey Swindler.
Foster J. Boyd, MD, Regional Cancer Center Integrating New, Existing Services
Despite medicine’s best efforts, cancer remains a major health threat. Chances are you have a family member or friend touched by the disease. More than 200 new cases are diagnosed in Clinton County each year, with another 1,900 cases in surrounding counties—Fayette, Greene, Highland and Warren. Add previously diagnosed patients, and that translates into approximately 10,500 residents living with cancer in our region.

Because Americans are living longer, cancer patients will need recurring treatments over the life of their disease. CMH has provided excellent care to its cancer patients for years.

However, the Foster J. Boyd, MD, Regional Cancer Center was necessary to bring together a range of advanced radiation and medical oncology services, programs and staff expertise, which will be available five days a week. Support services such as massage therapy, family counseling, nutrition information and an appearance boutique will allow for a holistic approach that focuses on the person, not just the disease.

Until the cancer center opened earlier this month, patients needing extended cancer care (in particular linear accelerator based radiation therapy) needed to travel to major metropolitan hospitals to access high-tech cancer weapons. In order to participate in a coordinated cancer program, area residents often had to drive thousands of miles over the course of their treatment, far away from the support of family and friends.

“We knew the time had come to offer those patients something more...outstanding cancer care close to home,” Tim Crowley, president and chief executive officer of CMH Regional Health System, said at the time of the center’s groundbreaking in March 2006.  “For many years, CMH and its medical staff have provided excellent cancer care, but our responsibility includes a duty to be vigilant, to know when changes must be made, and to have the vision to improve the health of our community.”

Part of that vision, in the form of the 18,000 square foot comprehensive regional cancer center, now sits on two acres across from the Clinton Memorial Hospital campus at 31 Farquhar Ave., Wilmington.

“It has been designed to fit with its residential surroundings in ways that both demonstrate its unique and special purpose while respecting the surrounding community it serves,” says Crowley.

With a five-year, $50 million building and renovation project at the hospital completed in 2005, the $8 million cancer center is another critical component of CMH Regional Health System’s ongoing strategic plan and corporate vision to become the best community hospital in America.

The  building and renovation project improved patient services by creating new patient care areas, a new surgery department, a new birthing center,  a new pharmacy, a new laboratory, expanded Emergency Services and added new services such as a low-risk cardiac catheterization laboratory. Diagnostic imaging services were also expanded.

The idea of a comprehensive cancer center had been discussed by CMH for several years during which time a consultant was engaged and the interests and support of staff, physicians and community members was gauged.

“Today’s cancer patients and family members are more sophisticated,” Crowley says. “They seek second opinions and value service and clinical quality. They understand the importance of a specialized center that features the latest technology and is privy to the latest research.”

One who needs absolutely no convincing that the cancer center was another necessary stride in the progression of history for CMH is Dr. Foster (Jack) Boyd. Dr. Boyd was an original member of the hospital medical staff when it opened in 1951 and founded CMH’s accredited cancer program.

“The growth of CMH over the last 55 years has been unique for a rural community hospital and state-of-the-art cancer care has been maintained to a commendable degree,” Dr. Boyd says. “However, to provide the recent advances currently being acquired in surrounding metropolitan hospitals, CMH needed to rise to a higher level of diagnosis and treatment.”

Champlin/Haupt Architects of Cincinnati, designer of the cancer center, also conducted a focus group of area cancer survivors to garner suggestions on what the center should entail.

“When I was diagnosed in 1977 with malignant melanoma, there were very few options for dealing with the disease,” recalls Randy Riley, a retired CMH employee and current Clinton County Commissioner. “Today, thanks to discovery and innovation, melanoma patients have a much better chance of surviving. Having a cancer center close to home that can provide the latest treatment and help with possible cures will be one of the greatest gifts this community will ever receive.”

The new cancer center provides easy and timely access to a multitude of services for cancer patients and caregivers, integrates various oncology specialties in one location, and encourages multidisciplinary interaction.