OhioHealth officials hailed the groundbreaking of a new cancer care building at its Delaware Health Center on Thursday.
“This is really groundbreaking for OhioHealth,” said Anna Hensley, chief operating officer. “This will be the first center that OhioHealth has to provide everything under one roof. It’s hard to believe that just a few years after we opened this campus, we’re all ready to expand.”
The one-story, 7,160 square-foot oncology radiation building will be along the eastern wall of the existing 60,320 square-foot building, at the northeast corner of OhioHealth Boulevard and Glenn Parkway. The radiation oncology facility will be next to the existing medical oncology services. There will be a shared waiting room, six cancer physicians and specially trained nurses.
“This is about commitment to our community,” Hensley said. “It’s about trying to bring care local. These folks are at the most vulnerable times of their lives, so them not having to travel long distances is really important to us.”
Mindy Sanford, director of oncology, said patients who receive radiation or other treatment often have to visit daily or multiple times a week for six to eight weeks.
“To travel a long distance to get that treatment isn’t convenient for patients or families,” Sanford said. “Being able to offer all these care and treatments in one center is going to be so beneficial for our patients and families. We really want this to be a center of cancer care for Delaware County.”
Cancer care services offered at the Delaware Health Center include infusion, surgery, pet therapy and wig fittings.
In addition to the new building, OhioHealth has hired two new oncology doctors for the Health Center and Grady Memorial Hospital. Also, Grady has become certified by MD Anderson Cancer Network (a top-ranked hospital in Houston), allowing the hospital to have access to best practices, protocols and consultations.
OhioHealth officials said the new building will house a linear accelerator, which sends a beam of high-energy X-rays and electrons to destroy cancer cells while protecting normal tissues in radiation treatment.
“The unit to be installed here is the latest model,” said medical physicist David Hinckley. “It produces a lot of energy. The primary walls around the linear accelerator will be in excess of 6.5-feet-thick. That’s an engineering feat just to build the structure.”
The building is expected to be open next spring.
“The number one takeaway is patient care and keeping it close to home,” said Michael Bianchi, vice president of oncology services. “It just makes an exceptional experience for them.”
“We’re just really thrilled with their continued investment in the community, and this service is outstanding,” said Delaware City Manager Tom Homan.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.