LONDONDERRY — Under its new logo, "Hope is Here," the Elliot Regional Cancer Center opened its doors at 40 Buttrick Road Monday.
Now patients needing radiation therapy as part of their cancer regimen can be seen in a brand-new, 15,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the Dana-Farber/New Hampshire Oncology Hematology facility in the Elliot Medical Center complex.
"This is an unbelievable addition," said Frederick Briccetti, medical director of Dana-Farber/New Hampshire Oncology Hematology during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 10. "It completes the toolkit we can offer our patients. We will now have more access to more varied clinical trials."
Briccetti said Elliot's Radiation Oncology Associates were on the cutting edge even 40 years ago when it introduced the first linear accelerator in New England.
A linear accelerator allows the beam of radiation to directly target the cancer cells without damaging surrounding tissue. The new cancer center in Londonderry has a state-of-the-art linear accelerator in a room with soothing lighting and the patient's choice of music.
"The patient is in the room for about 15 minutes," radiation therapist Cathy Coulombe said. "It's usually 10 minutes for positioning and five minutes for the treatment."
The Dana-Farber/New Hampshire Oncology Hematology facility opened in December 2008.
"It was Doug Dean's vision that made this synergy possible," Briccetti said. "The best medicine is made with the best partnerships."
Larry Shulman, chief medical officer of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said Dean, CEO of Elliot Hospital, showed him an old barn on Buttrick Road six years ago.
"Doug said, 'You've got to see this plot with me,'" Shulman said. "Under one roof is what you now have in 2011 for complex, integrated cancer care."
The first building in the complex, Elliot Medical Center, houses primary care offices, diagnostic imaging and urgent care center.
In addition to the linear accelerator, the new cancer center features three large examining rooms, three doctor-patient consultation rooms, a private waiting area for patients, an autonomous check-in center where patients can check in with a swipe of their patient ID card, a room for complementary alternative medicine treatments like Reiki and massage, and a video-conferencing center for doctors to hold consultations.
Brian Knab, medical director of Radiation Oncology Associates, said he was "thrilled to be part of what is the very best cancer care" offered in the region.
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