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Chelsea Community Hospital To Build New Cancer Center

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A scanning electron microscope picture of a cancer cell. Uncredited photo from Wikimedia Commons

A scanning electron microscope picture of a cancer cell. Uncredited photo from Wikimedia Commons

CHELSEA (WWJ) – Chelsea Community Hospital Tuesday announced plans for a 15,000-square-foot Cancer Center that will expand current cancer services and add radiation therapy to its current oncology treatments. CCH is set to break ground for the center in January.

The new cancer center will enable local residents to receive a wide range of cancer treatments, from surgery to chemotherapy and radiation, all under one roof close to home. As a member of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, CCH’s Cancer Center will also provide access to regional resources including clinical research trials, specialized breast health services such as genetic counseling, and CyberKnife radiotherapy.

“A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event and we recognize that patients need to receive care that is outstanding both in terms of clinical competence and the compassionate way it is delivered,” said Kathleen Beekman, M.D., director of the CCH Infusion Center. “We have an amazing staff here that love what they do, are dedicated to the community and have the benefit of a larger network of cancer care through Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.”

The hospital has launched a $6 million campaign, entitled the Branching Out Campaign, to support the project. Co-chairs Howdy and Carole Holmes are leading a 34-member committee made up of local business and community leaders and physicians.

“Support for our Branching Out Campaign will allow CCH to provide compassionate cancer care close to home for our patients and their families during one of life’s most vulnerable moments,” said Nancy Graebner, CCH president and CEO. “Together we can make a lasting impact in the lives of our families, friends and neighbors by giving hope a new home at our Chelsea Community Hospital Cancer Center.”

The new cancer center, scheduled to be complete by December 2014, will be built as an addition to the main hospital in close proximity to associated hospital programs and services. Existing chemotherapy services will move from the Professional Office Building into the new space and expand to include a projected total of eight infusion bays and two private infusion rooms.

The project will include building the medical oncology and radiation oncology suites, physician exam rooms, patient areas, changing rooms, an onsite pharmacy for mixing chemotherapy drugs, and the infrastructure needed for a linear accelerator and CT simulator for radiation treatment.

Also included will be the purchase and installation of a linear accelerator and CT simulator — computerized equipment that creates targeted radiation treatment plans for patients — making CCH the only location in its surrounding area to offer radiation therapy. CCH will join St. Joseph Mercy Health System’s other locations in Ann Arbor, Brighton and Canton in offering these cancer services.

Cancer care at CCH began with specialized surgical services and was followed by the development of an infusion center made possible with community support.

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