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Radiation Oncology Center Groundbreaking May 14

May 06, 2013

McCook, Nebraska—The public is invited to attend Community Hospital’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Radiation Oncology Center on Tuesday, May 14 at 1 p.m. It will be held on the east side lawn near the Rehabilitation Center entrance at the hospital. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

Beginning late May or early June, construction will begin on a 4,200-square-foot Radiation Oncology Center on the east side of the Medical Specialists Center on the hospital campus. The new service will allow patients to receive radiation in McCook as part of their cancer treatment.

The Radiation Oncology Center will include a spacious reception and waiting room, two large exam rooms, offices for staff, a control room and a large vault to contain the linear accelerator. The building is designed with a larger waiting area and exam rooms than most to allow families to accompany their loved ones during treatment, and for future growth of the service. “The center will provide a warm and friendly environment, with an ambiance of comfort that is reassuring to cancer patients,” Ulrich said. “Every effort will be made to make our patients comfortable and confident in their quality of care,” he added.

NELCO Worldwide, a design/build company which specializes in building radiation oncology treatment vaults, will construct the center, along with the involvement of local and area contractors.

“We see it as an essential service since this area includes the highest population of elderly in Nebraska, with incidents of specific cancer rates above the national average,” said Jim Ulrich, Community Hospital President & CEO. “This enhancement to access of radiation oncology services will have a tremendously positive impact for patients in our region,” he said. “With an average of 325 new cancer cases diagnosed in our region annually, adding this service allows us to provide comprehensive cancer care which is so very important to our patients,” he added.

Radiation therapy requires daily treatments for up to seven weeks. Currently patients travel a minimum of 70 miles one way to receive radiation treatments, which take only a matter of minutes. “We have known for many years the ability to provide radiation oncology in McCook will save our patients hours of travel and allow them the convenience and comfort of staying nearer their home,” Ulrich said.

The total project is estimated at approximately $6 million. Community Hospital Health Foundation is raising funds for the project through the Campaign for Cancer Care. Fundraising received a kick start earlier this year through the $500,000 lead gift from Lemoine (Andy) and the late Geri Anderson of McCook and a $3 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

With the $3.5 million gifts already designated for the project, the Community Hospital Board of Directors approved the remaining $2.5 million be funded through $200,000 or more of Community Hospital reserves as well a USDA Rural Development loan of up to $2.3 million.

Community Hospital is a Critical Access Hospital, located in McCook, Nebraska, that provides acute inpatient and outpatient care, skilled nursing, emergency medicine, surgery, obstetrics and delivery, diagnostic facilities, pharmacy and rehabilitation services. The hospital also offers two rural health clinics, chemotherapy services, home health and hospice programs, visiting specialists, a sleep center and orthopedic clinics. Community Hospital serves approximately 30,000 residents in the counties of Red Willow, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes and Hitchcock in Nebraska; and Cheyenne, Decatur, and Rawlins counties in Kansas.

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