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Posted October 2, 2012 | comments 13 Comments

Valley Health eyes cancer center

By Sally Voth - svoth@nvdaily.com

Valley Health hopes to continue growing.

A proposed $34.7 million cancer center on the Winchester Medical Center campus will be the subject of an Oct. 10 public hearing.

Valley Health has submitted a certificate of public need to build the 47,000-square-foot facility to the Virginia Department of Health, CEO Mark H. Merrill said.

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

Currently, some of those departments are in separate buildings.

There also is a need for more cancer treatment rooms, Merrill said, and the center would "give us an opportunity to grow, give us new technology," Merrill said. "We're also working to enhance our surgery capability."

Merrill said the hospital hopes to be able to start building the center by the end of next year.

Valley Health Corporate Service Lines Vice President Suanne Thurman-Gersdorf was involved in planning the center while serving as executive director for oncology and surgery.

She described the hospital's current cancer department as "excellent," especially with the addition of a surgical oncologist and a thoracic surgeon, as well as the upcoming implementation of stereotactic radiosurgery, which targets radiation therapy for intracranial tumors.

"We have a pretty extraordinary program," Thurman-Gersdorf said. "What we have lacked is the ability to bring it all together in one place so that the path of the patient is smooth, and that the physicians who are caring for the patient can be together in one place."

The center would include space for future radiological technology and additional surgical sub-specialties, she said.

"This is just the right way to take care of patients," Thurman-Gersdorf said. "With the addition of our surgical oncologist and thoracic surgeon, there's very little that patients need to leave town for."

She added that pediatric and complex gynecological cancers aren't handled at Winchester Medical Center.

The health department should make a decision on the certificate of public need by the end of this year or early next, she said. The public hearing is 1 p.m. Oct. 10 at Handley Library.

13 Comments | Leave a comment

    Cancer treatment is a profitable business: build it and they will come.

    you see the emily couric cancer center down at UVA, it is beautiful building.

    Yep I could see cancer treatment being profitable, but I guess the population is getting more inundated with cancer.

      Not could be a profitable business - IS. Cancer treatment is outrageous! I've seen people who were given false hope and drained of their life savings only to die.

      WHY is there more cancer??????? Why don't we ask that question? Look at the food supply for starters, the water and the miserable way we pollute.

      Poison, cut and burn are still the ways cancer is treated. Just when you need your immunity system more than ever, it's destroyed. It's like burning down the whole house to kill a mouse.

      Until the whole person is treated through proper diet and smarter choices, this deadly disease will continue. I've read and believe that we get cancer throughout our lives but usually fight it off. Once you give the medical world the power over your body - you become $$$$$$.

      Oh every now and then we hear from a few who make it - at least for a while, but we don't hear from the others: the dead don't speak.

    When diagnosed with cancer, I was given the choice of going to Charlottesville or Northern Virginia for Surgery. Choosing NV and having to be at the hospital of 0630 hours, hubby and I opted to check into a Residence Inn 0,9 miles from the hospital/doctor for a few days. Worked out great and I didn't have to worry about him going back and forth. The diagnosis/treatment received by Dr. M.L. of the Winchester Women's Specialist was above what I expected from all. Dr. Krebs and Innova-Fairfax Hospital was exemplary in ever way.
    As Northern Virginia expands west and population increases, this would be a positive addition to thise area. I wish Kaiser would move to this area.

    The American Cancer Society (ACS) is accumulating great wealth in its role as a “charity.” According to James Bennett, professor of economics at George Mason University and recognized authority on charitable organizations, in 1988 the ACS held a fund balance of over $400 million with about $69 million of holdings in land, buildings, and equipment (1). Of that money, the ACS spent only $90 million— 26 percent of its budget— on medical research and programs. The rest covered “operating expenses,” including about 60 percent for generous salaries, pensions, executive benefits, and overhead. By 1989, the cash reserves of the ACS were worth more than $700 million (2). In 1991, Americans, believing they were contributing to fighting cancer, gave nearly $350 million to the ACS, 6 percent more than the previous year. Most of this money comes from public donations averaging $3,500, and high-profile fund-raising campaigns such as the springtime daffodil sale and the May relay races. However, over the last two decades, an increasing proportion of the ACS budget comes from large corporations, including the pharmaceutical, cancer drug, telecommunications, and entertainment industries.

    Also go to:

    http:/alignlife.com/articles/cancer/The _Cancer_Industry_Failure_Lies_and_Big_Profits

    Good and courageous posts, Diana.

    So far, in this area we now have the proposed pharmaceutical distribution center, a for-profit prison and a cancer center. All representing billions of dollars. Corporate intentions and faces hidden behind a local facade. True, they bring "jobs" to the area, but look at what the jobs rely on: constant human suffering. (The pharmaceuticals do not releive suffering in the long term).

    Then we consider the millions of dollars spent on "lobbying", for these facilities and industries, and AGAINST viable, natural alternatives. The pharmaceutical industry lobby, alone, is spending millions to outlaw natural remedies.

    We were natural beings long before industries arrived. Looking closer, we see the profitable inter-dependence of these industries. One causes cancer, another profits from treatment. Any dissent ends up in the prison.

    This is what public complacency has brought us.

    The American Cancer Society has close connections to the mammography industry. Five radiologists have served as ACS presidents, and in its every move, the ACS reflects the interests of the major manufacturers of mammogram machines and films, including Siemens, DuPont, General Electric, Eastman Kodak, and Piker. In fact, if every woman were to follow ACS and NCI mammography guidelines, the annual revenue to health care facilities would be a staggering $5 billion, including at least $2.5 billion for premenopausal women. Promotions of the ACS continue to lure women of all ages into mammography centers, leading them to believe that mammography is their best hope against breast cancer. A leading Massachusetts newspaper featured a photograph of two women in their twenties in an ACS advertisement that promised early detection results in a cure “nearly 100 percent of the time.” An ACS communications director, questioned by journalist Kate Dempsey, responded in an article published by the Massachusetts Women’s Community’s journal Cancer:

    The ad isn’t based on a study. When you make an advertisement, you just say what you can to get women in the door. You exaggerate a point. . . . Mammography today is a lucrative [and] highly competitive business.

    The way women are treated when they have a mammography is deplorable. The tender, sensitive breast is jostled around, roughly handled and placed in the device to obtain the x-ray. The already angry area (angry with cancer cells) is now irritated further, enhancing the probability and possibility of cells spreading to other parts of the body.


    Simply presented, cancer is the unregulated manufacture of dysfunctional cells. A "transmitter cell" (corporate headquarters) sends signals to other cells which disrupt and eventually highjack the normal signals cells respond to. The disruption, medical science now knows, can be triggered by chemical elements such as nicotine, caffeine and alcohol. Sound frequencies, light pulsations and electrical interference also trigger specific actions. These disruptive elements reconfigure both nervous systems and brainwaves. One of the easiest (and most effective) methods this disruption uses are vulnerable free radical components*. Targeting the incomplete atom or molecule, a "command" is placed in the deficit area. This command becomes "common" (like interjecting slang into a language).
    In some individuals, the brain actually becomes the transmitter "cell". The signals are also distributed by certain radio waves, and while not enough information is available to the public, TIME bombs contain elements which transmit cancerous signals.
    We see this precise operational system in the CIA and military mentality, bolstered by and in conjunction with commercial "interests".

    Normal cells being the controlled conducting of energy, cancer is the uncontrolled misuse of energy.


    As the wife of a cancer patient I have to say that local availability of treatments will be a godsend to many people. If you haven't had to experience travelling for treatments, spending weeks at a time away from home, the worry about your loved one in treatment, trying to insure the care and well being of children and your home, so many things that unless you have experienced it you don't realize, you do not know how a more encompassing facility in the area can benefit everyone involved in a patients life. For profit, non-profit, I don't care. And my husbands cancer was not caused by anything that could have been prevented .... not environment or food or bad habits. He is one of the 1000 a year in the world diagnosed with it. Thankfully, he is doing well, 13 months and still clear. But the travel continues, for 47 more months until he will be declared cancer free.

      Many good thoughts about blessing and healing, to you and your husband, Diane. I hope the very best outcome.

      Diane, my wife and I travel annually to UVA for my cancer screening, so far so good. I will visit in November for my second screening and if all is well another three clean screenings and I too will be declared cancer free.

      My tumor was found at Winchester and I was sent to UVA for further diagnosis which resulted in surgery, I don't regret the numerous trips and am thankful for the care I received in Charlottesville and the support received from family and friends.

      It would be great if Valley Health could have a facility as wonderful as UVA to prevent the time consuming trips and separation from family.

      May all go well for your husband, you, your family and Valley Health as they pursue the cancer center.

      I was quite fortunate to have insurance that covered my cancer surgery and paid only a small co-pay for my visits. The statements I received from UVA clearly showed why families are often bankrupted by health issues, all the more reason for EVERYONE to have health insurance.

      Diane, I know all too well what the cancer treatment of a love one is about and I wish your husband the best. Care giving is the hardest job on earth.

      Skidplate I hope you have a full recovery. I certainly mean no disrespect toward anyone seeking treatment, but I don't believe treatment should exhaust a family's savings (even with insurance) as it so often does.

      The love and support of family is so important and will contribute to the healing process more than anything. And yes, we need affordable health care for everyone.

    Valley Health only sees another Cow that they can milk to the maximum and have the patients pick up an outrageous tab.

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