FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2021
Jess Elkins, 414.939.8832
Bringing Cancer Care Close to Home
Petersburg, WV – Nearly 84,000 West Virginians live in the five-county Potomac Highlands region. Patients battling cancer in this region are often burdened with a 90-minute drive down two-lane roads, across rivers, and over mountains to access life-saving chemotherapy services. For some patients, the burden becomes too much and the journey too difficult. They halt their cancer care and hope for the best. Convenient access to cancer care is one reason that cancer mortality in West Virginia is 12% above the national average. That is about to change for the Potomac Highlands, thanks to Grant Memorial Hospital.
Grant Memorial Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Bob Milvet, has focused on cancer care since his first day on the job. “When I became the CEO in August 2018, I asked ‘where do patients go for cancer care?’. As a cancer survivor, I intimately understand the trials and tribulations of the diagnosis alone. Learning that people had to drive long distances for care and treatments was just not acceptable to me, so I began the conversation envisioning a cancer center right here at Grant Memorial Hospital”, Milvet stated.
This vision is soon to become a reality. On January 18th, 2021, Grant Memorial Hospital broke ground on a multi-phased project to bring a new oncology infusion center to the region. The nine-patient infusion center will include its own dedicated entrance allowing separation of the immune-compromised patients undergoing therapy from the general hospital patients and visitors, enabling life-saving cancer care to continue uninterrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic and any pandemic that may follow. The infusion center will offer state-of-the-art services in an environment affording cancer patients an experience on-par with some of the world’s most respected cancer centers. A pharmacy will be on-site to prepare medications for patients’ specific needs.
Tammy Kesner, Chair of the Hospital’s Board of Trustees, said “we are pleased to add another service at Grant Memorial Hospital with the addition of cancer care services in our community eliminating the need for patients to travel for this type of specialty care. It is the desire of the Board of Trustees to ensure the families of Grant County and the surrounding areas have easy access to quality healthcare and needed services.”
In understanding the community need for these services and considering Grant Memorial Hospital’s current services, the new pharmacy will be constructed in the location of the existing Special Care Unit. This unit, which is currently separated from other inpatient bedrooms, will be integrated into the existing inpatient wing with four new state-of-the-art patient rooms. Relocating the Special Care Unit to the inpatient wing allows for nursing staff and doctors to operate more efficiently and collaborate more easily while improving the patient and family experience.
“Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in West Virginia, partly because of the lack of access to cutting-edge therapies. Grant Memorial Hospital's bold decision to bring these services to the Potomac Highlands will markedly increase access to services that were once hours away,” said Manuel Hernandez, MD, MS, MBA, CPE, Health Care Market leader for Kahler Slater.
Grant Memorial Hospital partnered with Kahler Slater, an award-winning, nationally recognized architectural and planning firm to design the project. Howard Shockey and Sons of Winchester, VA is the Construction Manager.
Due to COVID-19, no formal ground-breaking or public celebration is currently planned. However, there are hopes to host a grand opening in late summer or early fall 2021 when the construction is completed.
About Kahler Slater
Through architecture, interior design, environmental branding and strategic advisory services, Kahler Slater’s work enriches life and achieves powerful results. Kahler Slater utilizes design solutions as catalysts for helping their clients reach their strategic goals for advancing their organizations. With offices in Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Chicago, IL.; Richmond, Va.; Singapore, and leadership presence in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; and San Francisco, Calif.; Kahler Slater’s projects span across North America and into Asia. Their team includes marketplace experts in healthcare, higher education, corporate, living environments, hospitality, sports and wellness. Learn more at www.kahlerslater.com.