nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
Archives | Subscribe

Local News arrow Economy and Jobs arrow Frederick County arrow Health arrow Winchester

| 0 | 2 Comments

Public stays silent on proposed cancer center

Speakers, audience at hearing for planned Valley Health facility consisted of physicians, staff

By Sally Voth

No one from the public attended a hearing Wednesday at Handley Library for a proposed Valley Health cancer center.

The audience and speakers consisted of physicians and Valley Health staff.

Leonard Varmette, project review analyst with the Virginia Department of Health's Division of Certificate of Public Need, said a staff report is due Oct. 19. That report will provide a recommendation to Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Karen Remley.

Valley Health hopes to build a $34.7 million, 47,000-square-foot facility near the wellness and diagnostics centers on its Winchester Medical Center campus, CEO Mark H. Merill said last week.

"It would be an enhancement of services to include medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology and support [under one roof]," he said.

The center would have various other features, including space for palliative care, an American Cancer Society presence and a healing garden, Suanne Thurman-Gersdorf, Valley Health Corporate Service Lines vice president, said during the hearing.

As the former executive director for oncology and surgery, Thurman-Gersdorf was actively involved in planning the center.

"These services will enhance the patient experience and will provide care that otherwise might not be available locally," Thurman-Gersdorf said.

Radiation oncologist Dr. Bruce Flax said he has worked at Winchester Medical Center since 1993, said the physical plant hasn't kept up with the quality of care, which has remained strong.

"Patient care spaces have become inadequate," he said. "Multiple services will once again be available under one roof [at the proposed center]. The proposed improvement will be much more conducive to patient and family healing."

Varmette seemed optimistic about the health system's odds of getting commissioner approval.

"To be very, very honest, I know of no opposition to this project," he said.

After the hearing, Varmette said Remley's decision is due Dec. 10, at the latest.

"In cases where there's no competition or there are no adverse recommendations, we would have a certificate probably much earlier than that," he said.

Varmette said it's possible another health organization in the Richmond area would want to send a letter of opposition to the health department. He said the public can voice opinions on the request up to the time the commissioner makes her decision.

Medical oncologist Dr. Rich Ingram, co-medical director of the oncology service line, also has been involved in planning the cancer center.

"This will allow us to coordinate and facilitate things from diagnostic services to consultative services to therapy and then to survivorship," he said after the public hearing. "We hope from a service line standpoint that we can spill out services to our other hospitals, specifically survivorship and continuity of care for our serving providers.

"We have all of the medical skills set and technology of a modern, comprehensive cancer center that's very cutting-edge. It just happens to be in different silos across campus as the campus grew."

Thurman-Gersdorf said the team thinks the final product will be "extraordinary" for patients and the community.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137  ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com


...and the public is still silent on the proposed center!

If WMC can bring cancer care to Winchester, so folks don't have to travel to Charlottesville, DC, Baltimore or further out for care...I'm all for it.

Leave a comment

What do you think?

(You may use HTML tags for style)


Comments that are posted on nvdaily.com represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. If you feel that a comment is objectionable, please click on the Report Abuse link above and in your e-mail to us include the comment. We will review the reported comment and make a decision on deleting it if we feel that it contains inappropriate content.

Look Who 'Likes' nvdaily!

Daily readers: Click the "LIKE" button above to get Daily news and breaking news alerts on your Facebook page.

Activity & Recommendations

Local News Sections

Agency on Aging Agriculture Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Briefs Business Charities Civil War Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Homes In The Spotlight Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mt. Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Quicksburg Religion RSW Jail School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review

News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Homes | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!

nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com