Mid­dle­sex Hospi­tal ex­pands cancer cen­ter

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Luther Turmelle luther.turmelle@ hearst­medi­act.com

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.”

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