May 15, 2014

Mercy holds groundbreaking for cancer center expansion



(Photo courtesy of Mercy Medical Center)

By Stephen Kiltonic

SPRINGFIELD – A groundbreaking ceremony was held May 14 on the Mercy Medical Center campus, here, for a $15 million expansion project at the Sister Caritas Cancer Center.

The project, which will include 26,000 square feet of space on two levels, is expected to be completed in 18 months.

“This is a great day for Mercy Medical Center and for the entire community of western Massachusetts because it’s really a next step for us in our cancer care journey,” said Daniel Moen, president and CEO of the Sisters of Providence Health System. “It’s really bringing together all the necessary services on campus in one facility so the patients can receive the best care in the best setting.”

Various administrators, trustees, physicians and supporters, including the center namesake, Sister of Providence Mary Caritas Geary and a group of the founding Sisters of Providence, joined elected officials and community leaders for the festive event.

Dr. Philip Glynn, chair of oncology services, said consolidating all services, physicians and staff members under one roof will benefit everyone.

“At this time there are seven of us practicing medical oncology on this campus and we’re spread out in two different offices, two different infusion rooms,” he said. “So this will bring us all under one roof. It’s going to be an enormous plus to work flow, with the laboratory facilities, pharmacy, nurses and physicians all under one roof and it’ll be much easier for us to collaborate and work together on a daily basis.”  

“Obviously, it’ll be a magnificent structure for families and patients to come to for their initial assessments, for treatments and follow up,” Glynn said. 

The first floor of the new facility will include medical oncology offices, physician offices and exam rooms, while the second floor will feature medical oncology treatment space, 32 infusion bays, an oncology pharmacy and lab space. More than 30,000 treatments are expected to be done each year.

Glynn said he hopes the new center will add clinical trials, increase the genomic profiling of patients and their tumors, and increase participation in survivorship and rehab programs.

Moen said the expansion was necessary to keep up with the increased demand in the region for cancer care.

“We’re seeing many more patients for cancer care and we needed this in order to take care of that demand, but also, as the population ages, we’re seeing more and more cancer in the community, so we have to be ready to help the community through that aging process,” he said.