Monday, January 31, 2011
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has filed an application with the New York State Department of Health to open a freestanding outpatient facility in Harrison, New York. If approved, the new 114,000-square-foot treatment facility will offer area residents the most advanced cancer care services, closer to home.
Located at 500 Westchester Avenue in Harrison, easily accessible off I-684 and I-287, the proposed ambulatory care center will be convenient for people with cancer who live in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, and Rockland counties, as well as Fairfield County, CT.
“Frequently, cancer patients from this area who choose to receive care from Memorial Sloan Kettering must travel into Manhattan for treatments and services,” said Maureen Killackey, MD, Deputy Physician-in-Chief and Medical Director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Regional Care Network, noting that almost 13 percent of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s patients are from the Hudson Valley and Western Connecticut. In addition, 71 percent of the ambulatory cancer care visits made by Memorial Sloan Kettering’s patients living in Westchester County take place in its facilities in Manhattan. “With an increasing incidence of cancer, especially as the population ages, as well as advances in early detection and treatment, more patients are surviving longer and will need continued care. The new Harrison facility would allow our patients to receive Memorial Sloan Kettering’s expertise in this outpatient setting, closer to home.”
Plans for the center include comprehensive ambulatory oncology services, delivered by Memorial Sloan Kettering clinicians in a facility designed to meet the unique needs of cancer patients and their families. Services to detect, diagnose, treat, and support cancer patients would be provided. These include medical, neurologic, and radiation oncology, comprehensive diagnostic radiology, surgical oncology consultations, dermatology (including Mohs surgery), genetic counseling, high-risk cancer screening and surveillance, survivorship programs, social work, nutrition, and other support services.
Imaging technology at the center would include interventional radiology, which uses state-of-the-art, minimally invasive tools for cancer diagnosis and management, as well as CT, PET/CT, MRI, mammography, and ultrasound. In addition, a CT simulator and two state-of-the-art linear accelerators would be used to map and deliver intensity-modulated and image-guided radiation therapy. This leading-edge technology enhances the precision of radiation therapy while reducing radiation exposure to healthy tissue.
Chemotherapy treatments would be delivered in a supportive environment by disease-focused care teams who know and understand the concerns of cancer patients and their families. “Because our staff’s sole focus is on cancer, patients can be sure that their care would reflect the most advanced knowledge about how to treat and live with cancer,” notes Dr. Killackey.
In addition, there would be expanded capabilities to offer a range of clinical trials that, as Dr. Killackey notes, “reflect Memorial Sloan Kettering’s mission to develop new therapies and deliver them from the research bench to the bedside.” Conference rooms would not only be available for staff working at the facility, but also for local cancer support groups and educational meetings to reinforce the center’s commitment to the community it serves.
Memorial Sloan Kettering has been a member of the Westchester community for more than 15 years, providing exceptional care for patients with cancer with its facility in Sleepy Hollow, and plans to continue providing services in both locations.
If approved, construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012, and the facility is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2015. All staff, initially totaling about 140 people including physicians, would be full-time employees of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and have the same levels of training and expertise as staff at the Center’s Manhattan and regional sites.
Memorial Sloan Kettering’s growing network of regional care centers also includes facilities in Basking Ridge, NJ, and on Long Island, in addition to Westchester County. In 2010, a total of more than 233,000 outpatient visits occurred at these regional care sites.
“We are replicating Memorial-Sloan Kettering’s very successful model of locally accessible outpatient cancer care, based on years of experience of our clinical staff and feedback from our patients, mindful that there will be continuing advances in cancer care delivery in the coming years,” said Dr. Killackey.