Community dedicates new cancer treatment center

Cori Ashton, director of oncology operations at Valley Health's new cancer center, explains how the new linear accelerator works in the Radiation Oncology department. Kaley Toy/Daily

WINCHESTER – Hundreds of community members gathered Friday morning in Winchester as the new regional cancer treatment center facility at Winchester Medical Center was dedicated.

Community members, local officials, Valley Health trustees, physicians, staff, volunteers, donors and patients toured the new cancer center at its dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Mark Merrill, president and CEO of the Valley Health system, said the whole Valley Health team is thrilled for its newest addition to Winchester Medical Center.

“Valley Health is committed to serving the physical, mental and the emotional needs of our patients, in particular, patients with cancer,” he said. “We believe this facility offers a fabulous environment to receive care.”

According to a Valley Health news release, the 52,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility offers chemotherapy and radiation treatment areas, physician practices for surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, consultation space, nutrition counseling, integrative care and a clinical research office.

The cancer center is connected by a skywalk to the Diagnostic Center next door, where patients can receive medical imaging, lab services and genetic counseling. There is also a 70-seat conference space. The building’s design allows for natural lighting, outdoor views and wheelchair accessibility. An on-site healing garden offers small ponds and seating.

Grady “Skip” Philips III, president of Winchester Medical Center, said the center will serve the whole patient – “The body, the mind and the spirit, in a single accessible location.”

The release added that within the new center are Shenandoah Oncology, Valley Health Surgical Oncology and the Valley Health Breast Center.

Richard Ingram, co-medical director of the Oncology Service Line at the cancer treatment center, who has been working in the area for over 14 years, said the center is designed to provide one-on-one care to all patients.

“This structure in my opinion is going to wrap our arms around the patient,” he said.

Thomas Gilpin, secretary of the Valley Health System Board of Trustees, said over 1,700 donors helped make this cancer treatment center a reality.

A total of $10.2 million was raised to help fund the $28.5 million project. The project was approved by the Valley Health System Board, contingent on the Winchester Medical Center Foundation succeeding in their $10 million capital campaign.

Harry Byrd III, co-chair of the Cancer Center Capital Campaign, added that this $10 million campaign was the largest campaign taken on by the Winchester Medical Center board and Valley Health system board.

Sandra Bouder, president of the Winchester Medical Center Auxiliary, said that the auxiliary provided the largest single gift of $800,000 towards the center.

The new cancer treatment center will open to patients on Monday.

The facility is located at 400 Campus Blvd. in Winchester on the Winchester Medical Center campus.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com