A Singular Focus on Cancer at MSK Westchester in West Harrison

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pictured: MSK West Harrison Lobby

From screening and surveillance to treatment and survivorship, MSK’s newest outpatient treatment center brings our expertise to patients in New York’s Westchester County and surrounding communities.

Its gleaming exterior is just the beginning. MSK Westchester in West Harrison — a 114,000-square-foot facility that’s home to a staff of 140 cancer surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, and other healthcare professionals — is a modern, intuitive space designed to maximize patients’ comfort. No detail has been overlooked: Amenities include valet parking, Wi-Fi, a grab-and-go fresh food counter, and a peaceful outdoor garden.

“MSK Westchester in West Harrison enables us to further extend the reach of our unparalleled cancer care, bringing the expertise and dedication of our staff to patients where they live and work — in a serene, beautiful, and patient-friendly environment,” says Craig B. Thompson, MSK President and CEO. “We look forward to creating strong, long-lasting relationships with the community.”

MSK has been serving residents in the Westchester area since 1995 at our facility in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and MSK Westchester in West Harrison will allow for even more residents to access our care. Our other outpatient locations in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and on Long Island in Commack, Rockville Centre, and Hauppauge complete our suburban network.

Less Travel, More Convenience, Same Expert Care

MSK Westchester in West Harrison provides care that is exactly the same as patients would receive if they were treated at any other MSK facility. Specialized disease management teams offer diagnostic, treatment, and support services to people with a range of cancer types, including breast, gynecologic, gastrointestinal, lung, and urologic cancers. MSK’s world-class surgeons are on-site to provide all pre- and postsurgical care, and patients receive the latest chemotherapy treatments and the most advanced radiation therapies.

Gynecologic oncologist Ginger Gardner

“If we can decrease the burden of travel, patients will spend less time commuting and more time in the comfort of their own homes, which is important in the healing process,” explains Richard R. Barakat, Deputy Physician-in-Chief for MSK’s Regional Care Network and Cancer Alliance.

“MSK Westchester in West Harrison physicians are thought leaders in cancer treatment and research, and many of them developed the current treatment standards in their respective fields,” adds José Baselga, MSK’s Physician-in-Chief and Chief Medical Officer.

Other offerings for patients include genetic counseling, nutrition consultations, and social-work support. And a wide range of clinical trials — including early-stage studies of novel targeted anticancer drugs, specialized on-site staff, and dedicated lab space — allow patients to receive new treatments and schedule their follow-up appointments at MSK Westchester in West Harrison.

Chemotherapy nurses Alexia Taylor (right) and Annie Lavelle are part of the multidisciplinary treatment team at MSK West Harrison.

“Clinical trials are critical for translating scientific discoveries into new treatments that improve patient care,” says Ephraim Casper, Medical Director of MSK’s Regional Care Network. “For many, clinical trials offer the most promising treatment options available. The opportunity to participate in our trials is one of the special benefits of treatment at MSK, and patients who live in Westchester, the Hudson Valley, and [southwestern] Connecticut will have access to the latest clinical trials close to home.”

In addition, MSK Westchester in West Harrison provides a spectrum of sophisticated imaging technologies including MRI, CT, PET, ultrasound, and mammography for the diagnosis and staging of cancer, as well as a state-of-the-art radiation treatment planning and delivery system with two linear accelerators (the machine that creates the high-energy radiation used to treat cancer).

A team of MSK interventional radiologists perform breast biopsies and place ports to deliver chemotherapy, among other specialized procedures.

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A Total Patient-Centered Experience

From the moment patients and caregivers enter MSK Westchester in West Harrison, their experience is designed to be as streamlined and stress-free as possible.

One aspect of that added convenience is an innovative partnership with the nationally recognized multispecialty Mount Kisco Medical Group (MKMG). Patients receiving treatment for cancer at MSK Westchester in West Harrison can make appointments with MKMG physicians for non-oncology care, including cardiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, infectious disease, and internal medicine services — all without leaving the building.

The new facility also uses technology to add another level of comfort. A special tag given to each patient upon check-in uses real-time GPS technology to pinpoint where a patient is sitting, whether in a common area, a waiting room, or even in the outdoor garden. This allows people to move freely around the campus before seeing a physician or receiving a test result.

Private chemotherapy suites are flooded with natural light and have ample space for visitors. Patients can control the room temperature and lighting, and each suite has individual entertainment devices that can be used to video chat with friends during treatment, order food from local restaurants, or watch educational videos on health and wellness.

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Many of Our Doctors Live in the Community

Pictured: Daphna Gelblum
Meet Three of Our Westchester Physicians
A number of MSK clinicians will divide their time between our Manhattan campus and MSK Westchester in West Harrison, seeing patients in both locations.
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“When we began thinking about clinicians who might want to work in West Harrison, rather than thinking only about hiring new people who may not be familiar with the MSK culture, we came up with a new model,” Dr. Barakat says. “We have physicians and surgeons who have been at MSK — in some cases for many years — and even chiefs of services, who live in the community and who will be working at West Harrison. This allows us to truly infuse the MSK multidisciplinary culture into this new facility.”

Physicians and surgeons who practice at MSK’s Manhattan locations but reside in the Hudson Valley are extending their practices into their own community. “MSK doctors, nurses, and support staff will be seeing patients not only professionally but also as part of their daily lives,” Dr. Barakat observes. “They’ll be running into these same people in their churches, their temples, at the grocery, at social events. We are already full participants in the life of the community and are here to help.”

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