Middlesex Hospital expands cancer center
WESTBROOK — Cancer patients from the Shoreline area being treated by doctors affiliated with Middlesex Hospital currently have to travel to Middletown to receive their treatments.
But that is about to change as the Middletownbased medical center opens a new cancer treatment facility on Flat Rock Place in Westbrook.
Shoreline area patients currently being treated in the Middletown location of the Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center will see their treatments moved to the new location at 250 Flat Rock Place over the remainder of October and into early November, said Amanda Falcone, a spokeswoman for the hospital.
“At least 40 percent of the people the hospital is treating for cancer come from the Shoreline,” Falcone said. “It just made sense to have something down there with so many people making the drive. It may not seem like a long distance to drive, but when you’re sick, it isn’t easy.”
Another factor in the decision to open a second treatment center was the need to replace a $2.6 million piece of equipment used to treat cancer patients, she said.
Middlesex Hospital’s Cancer Treatment Center had two linear accelerators when it opened in 2002 on Saybrook Road in Middletown, Falcone said. The linear accelerators are used to deliver radiation treatments to cancer patients, she said.
“One of them was getting really old and it was determined that if we were going to purchase a new one, it made sense to locate it in place where we had so many patients,” Falcone said.
Middlesex Hospital obtained a certificate of need for the linear accelerator and the second cancer center location from the Office of Health Care Access of the Connecticut Department of Public Health in 2015, she said.
The new cancer center is located within Middlesex Hospital’s Shoreline Medical Center, a full service health care facility that the Middletown hospital opened in Westbrook in 2014. The opening of a new cancer center location is creating four new jobs as part of a staff of 13 working at the specialty treatment facility, Falcone said.
The new facility is part of Mayo Clinic’s network, which allows Middlesex Hospital’s doctors to collaborate with their counterparts from the world-renowned health care facility in treating complex cancers.
The Middlesex Hospital Cancer Treatment Center is the Shoreline area’s second cancer treatment facility. Smilow Cancer Hospital has a Guilford location that is part of Yale New Haven Health’s Shoreline Medical Center.
“We recognize where other cancer centers are located in the state,” Falcone said when asked if the new treatment facility was part of an effort to grab an increased market share of patients in the area . “This was all about allowing our patients to be treated closer to home.”