New Cancer Center at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, WY
When it comes to providing high-quality, community-based health care, Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County has a lot to brag about. And soon it will have even more services for area residents, in a $16.1 million regional cancer center.
The 80,000-square-foot facility is set to open in early 2014, and is being funded primarily through a sixth-penny specific purpose excise tax that was approved by county voters in 2012. That kind of community support isn’t new for the hospital, but it showcases how strong its ties to Sweetwater County are, says hospital CEO Gerald Klein.
“We appreciate the support of our taxpayers and voters in Sweetwater County for believing in what this project means to our community, as well as our outlying communities,” Klein says. “The opportunities that our partnership with the U. of U. and this medical office building and cancer center bring to southwest Wyoming will change the dynamic of health care across the region.”
New, Improved Cancer Care
The new building will house a full-service cancer center, including an infusion center and areas for chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It also will house the Sweetwater Medical Group, a practice made up of 15 physicians in 10 specialties who work for the hospital, other local doctors, a rehabilitation center, pain management clinic and an expanded dialysis center. The medical offices portion of the new building will open in late 2013.
Memorial has been working closely with the Huntsman Cancer Institute and University of Utah Health Care on the facility’s design, as well as the acquisition of necessary equipment and the selection of staff and physicians. The hospital has entered into an affiliation agreement with the University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics to help offer specialties and services in southwestern Wyoming.
By moving hematology and medical oncology under one roof, along with lab services and various specialties, residents will have access to more and better treatment within the community, and also will be able to come and go more conveniently. Conference rooms and academic spaces will allow for videoconferencing, and other professional-education measures from the facility’s partners will help the physicians and staff continue to improve their skill sets and offerings.
Helmsley Trust Grant Funds Equipment
The new facility will benefit from a $3.1 million grant to the Memorial Hospital Foundation from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust for the purchase of state-of-the-art cancer radiation equipment. Coming on top of all the other advances the new center will offer, this means more and better care locally, says Al Harris, president of the foundation’s board and a cancer survivor himself.
“The opportunity to acquire such an amazing piece of equipment – this really paves the way for cancer diagnosis, treatment, and full-blown radiation therapy right here in Sweetwater County,” Harris says. “Personally, as a cancer survivor, I fully understand the impact of this donation and what this means to the community.”
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