OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Launches Radiation Oncology Service
OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital has launched a new radiation oncology service in Athens, allowing patients in southeast Ohio to receive a full spectrum of local cancer care, including cancer surgery, infusion and radiation.
“Our goal is to keep care local for our patients,” said Mark Seckinger, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital president. “Patients receiving radiation therapy typically receive treatment five days a week for six to eight weeks, depending on their diagnosis. Bringing comprehensive cancer services under one roof is more convenient for our patients and allows them to receive quality care close to home.”
“We’ve worked very diligently over the past several years to create more “front doors” for OhioHealth Cancer Care across the state – from Athens all the way up to Mansfield,” said David Hinckley, system director for OhioHealth Radiation Oncology. “In fact, we now offer comprehensive cancer care in 8 different communities. We are thrilled to be providing these services conveniently for those who live in and around Athens.”
David Howell, MD began seeing patients at OhioHealth Cancer Care in Athens in early October. Dr. Howell is a board-certified radiation oncologist who is also certified in hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Howell is a fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (FAAHPM) and a fellow in the American College of Radiology (FACR).
Dr. Howell received his medical education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He completed an internship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and his residency at the Department of Radiation Therapy in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. He comes to O’Bleness most recently from Wellspan Radiation Oncology in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
“I am happy to live in Athens and be of service to this great community,” said Dr. Howell. “I’m also looking forward to collaborating with physicians and other providers both locally and throughout the OhioHealth system. By using a multi- disciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of malignancies, we can provide coordinated high-quality cancer care to our patients and their families close to home.”
The addition of radiation oncology was preceded by a major renovation and construction project at O’Bleness that moved Cancer Care and Infusion Services from the main hospital building to the Castrop Center in February of 2017. The move itself was a major milestone, resulting in a brand new space for cancer services, featuring private and spacious infusion bays, an increased number of exam rooms, a dedicated parking lot and a private entrance for our patients. The newly renovated facility is over 10,000 square feet.
Over the past several months, construction has been underway on the radiation oncology area of the space. The linear accelerator, or LINAC, was delivered this summer and a team of medical physics professionals and engineers prepared the equipment for the service launch.
The total investment in cancer services was $5.6 million.
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.
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Serving its communities since 1891, it is a family of 29,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 11 hospitals, 50+ ambulatory sites, hospice, home-health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.
OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital and OhioHealth Rehabilitation Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at www.ohiohealth.com.