“You have cancer” can be the most frightening three words a person could hear. And “We’re here to help you through it” may be the most comforting.
Asante has taken a leap forward this week to provide compassionate and comprehensive cancer services close to home with the formal opening of the Mary and Dick Heimann Cancer Center in Medford and the expansion of the Helen K. Spears Cancer Center in Grants Pass.
Each center offers a single location for patients undergoing cancer diagnostics, treatments and follow-up care, easing travel burdens for local patients and their families. Nearly 2,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed each year in Jackson and Josephine counties, and that number is expected to rise by 20% in the next decade.
The Heimann Cancer Center on East Barnett Road and Doctors Park Drive is the first cancer center of its kind in Southern Oregon. As part of ARRMC, it provides advanced imaging, precision radiation therapy, infusion services, laboratory services and soon an outpatient pharmacy and cafe.
It is home to the Asante Hematology and Oncology Clinic, staffed with providers and surgeons from Hematology Oncology Associates who specialize in the latest cancer treatments.
“Our providers are dedicated to delivering compassionate and clinically excellent cancer care to our community,” said Mujahid Rizvi, MD, HOA’s president and Asante cancer center medical director. “We’re excited to bring high-quality, innovative treatments to our hematology oncology patients.”
The 80,160-square-foot building includes:
- On-site PET/CT imaging services to aid precise and effective treatment.
- Advanced radiation technology that can target tumors without harming healthy tissue.
- Private infusion bays with comfortable chairs, expansive views, high-speed WiFi and room for a visitor.
- Videoconferencing capabilities that let patients meet with all members of their care team.
- An expanded nurse navigator program to guide patients through each step of their treatment.
- Supporting services, including pain and symptom management, rehabilitation, nutrition counseling, support groups, oncological massage and a wig library.
The center already has seen some patients but will become fully operational later this month. The building cost $64 million and was funded in part through donations to Asante Foundation. It is named after local philanthropists and civic leaders Mary and Dick Heimann, who donated $5 million toward its completion.
“For the community that we love, we wanted to do something that will leave a legacy,” said Dick Heimann, co-founder and vice chairman-emeritus of Lithia Motors. “The services and conveniences will provide excellence in medical care within this facility and will have a tremendous impact on so many people.”
Formal celebrations have been postponed because of the prevalence of the COVID-19 omicron variant. Open houses and tours will be scheduled once pandemic conditions allow.
The making of a regional cancer center
4,500 cubic yards of concrete — enough to pour a 5-foot-wide sidewalk from the project site to Ashland.
200 tons of rebar in the concrete, the weight of a 747 airplane.
665 tons (1.3 million pounds) of steel, the weight of three 747 airplanes.
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