Delaware Gazette: OhioHealth opens radiation oncology facility
Following the May 22 opening of a new radiation oncology building at the OhioHealth Delaware Medical Campus, cancer patients in Delaware are able to receive the full spectrum of cancer care right in the community — cancer surgery, infusion and radiation.
“Our goal is to keep care local for our patients,” said David Hinckley, OhioHealth program director of radiation and medical physics. “This is really exciting for cancer patients in Delaware. Patients receiving radiation are typically treated Monday through Friday, sometimes for six to eight weeks. It’s much more convenient for community members to be able to receive state-of-the-art patient care close to home or work as opposed to having to travel out of the community for it.”
Board-certified radiation oncology physician Andrew Freeman, MD, will be providing patient care in the new building. Dr. Freeman earned his medical degree at West Virginia University School of Medicine, where he also completed his internship in transitional medicine.
He trained in radiation oncology and completed his residency at the University of Louisville, serving as chief resident for two years. Dr. Freeman is trained in traditional and advanced methods of radiation therapy and specializes in providing evaluation and treatment of patients with all types of cancers.
“I am thrilled to join the Delaware community and work with patients to determine the best radiation therapy treatment plan for them,” said Dr. Freeman. “I am also looking forward to working with the providers in the OhioHealth system. Cancer care is a team effort and working in the same community with our surgeons and medical oncologists will allow for excellent collaboration to ensure continuum of care for our patients.”
Construction on the $7 million project began in spring 2016 and adds 7,000 square feet to the OhioHealth Delaware Health Center. Prior to the construction, the Delaware Health Center was just over 60,000 square feet.
The radiation oncology building has a linear accelerator, also called a LINAC. It is the latest model available from the manufacturer. The LINAC uses high energy x-rays and electrons that are customized to each patient’s cancer. It works to destroy the cancer cells, while sparing normal tissue. Dr. Freeman will work with a dosimetrist and medical physicists to develop a highly customized treatment plan for each patient.
Multiple safety precautions are taken to ensure safety for the patient and staff, as well as those in and around the facility. Quality control measures, such as the patient being the only one in the room during treatments, concrete walls up to 6 ½ feet thick and bi-direction intercom and camera systems to monitor patients during their treatment help to ensure safety.
“The radiation oncology addition brings even more cancer care to the Delaware Health Center,” said Mindy Sanford, director of clinical support at the Delaware Health Center. “Medical oncology/infusion, breast health, imaging and laboratory services are already available to patients in the building. Cancer surgery is available nearby at OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital. Patients will really benefit from this, as up until now, patients had to leave the community for the full spectrum of cancer care. They won’t have to do that anymore. In the end, this expansion is all about our patients.”
To read more and see a photo of the LINAC machine, click on the Delaware Gazette logo above.