PEMBROKE, Ga. (WSAV)- The Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion ( LCRP) at St. Joseph’s/Candler (SJC) will open a new cancer treatment center in Pembroke this fall.
Officials say that this treatment center is a rarity, as healthcare systems across the nation have been pulling out of rural areas.
“That’s also a statewide trend and we are excited to be doing the reverse,” said Dr. Grant Lewis, one of SJC’s leading oncologists.
Spirits were high as officials broke ground on what will be the only cancer treatment center in the Pembroke area for miles.
Lewis says proximity matters, especially when you’re battling one of the world’s deadliest diseases.
“To be able to not only make the assessments of what their needs are, but also deal with most of those needs here in there community will be just a tremendous convenience for folks that are already suffering in some way,” said Lewis.
SJC has been rapidly expanding cancer treatment programs across the region they now have locations in Bluffton, Hinesville, Waycross, Statesboro, and Jesup.
The new Pembroke facility will be located next to the St. Joseph’s/Candler Primary Care practice, which has been serving the community since 1994.
The Pembroke facility will offer the same specialty care including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, IV hydration, port flushes, injections, snd therapeutic phlebotomy.
“Prior to this people that were receiving chemotherapy would have to travel a long way to get it and as we all know, anyone who’s listening to this, who’s had it, that’s a rough deal,” said Paul Hinchey, CEO of SJC.
The Pembroke location will benefit from the expertise of the National Cancer Institute’s Community Oncology Research program or NCORP.
This gives them access to clinical trials, which for some patients, are their last hope.
“It either sustains lives for a period of time or it’s possible to cure it,” said Hinchey, “so that’s a much larger vision than what’s been here before.”
“The program will work collaboratively with the Summit Cancer Care specialists at the LCRP. The centerpiece of the LCRP model is the Clinical Effectiveness Teams who meet regularly to assure best practices in treatment regimens offered. Physicians present cases for multi-disciplinary discussions with physicians in Savannah for individualized treatment plans,” SJC said in a release.
Clinical Effectiveness Teams are comprised of physicians with related specialties and support personnel who meet regularly to review individual cases. St. Joseph’s/Candler has Clinical Effectiveness Teams for the following areas:
· Breast Cancer
· Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer
· Genitourinary (GU) Cancer
· Gynecologic Oncology
· Head and Neck Cancer
· Thoracic (Lung) Cancer
The 2.5 million dollar facility will have space for 10 infusion chairs, three exam and procedure rooms for medical oncologists, and a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical mixing lab for chemotherapies and other necessary infusions.
Contractors expect the facility to be completed in October.