“Now we can offer state-of-the-art therapy right here in the community so patients won’t have to travel to places like UVA and Wake Forest,” says John Rogers, a radiation oncologist.
The expanded services are possible due to new equipment acquisitions, renovations and the addition of a two-story medical office building. The changes are immediately apparent to anyone who has seen the before and after.
“Things were a little tired and needed to be updated,” says Rogers. “The new facility is a huge improvement because the hospital saw the need to improve and upgrade the equipment. It was last renovated in the ’90s.”
In an email, Scott Myers, director of outpatient oncology services, writes, “The cancer center has been completely renovated. The entire area is more spacious and easier to navigate. We have also added additional space for our physician partners. The current square footage is approximately 12,000 square feet."
Myers continues: "We have more capacity to take care of our patients and offer state-of-the-art care. The cancer center is brighter, more spacious and more comfortable than before.” We have made our lobby area more inviting, with TVs, game tables and coffee service. Valet service is available at the front door at no charge. This has been shown to greatly reduce the stress associated with searching for parking.”
But the biggest change is the new technology available at LewisGale.
“We have acquired a Varian TrueBeam Linear Accelerator that is capable of performing complex radiotherapy treatments in a very efficient manner,” Myers says. “It better targets what it needs to target and it does it quicker so patients aren’t on the table for so long.”
Also new are the latest versions of robotic surgery devices.
One such device is the da Vinci Xi Surgical System, which was developed with cancer-specific surgeries in mind. “It can be used across a wide spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures and has been optimized for complex, multi-quadrant surgeries, as are often required in cancer patients,” states Brenda May, DO, LewisGale gynecological oncologist.
At this time, LewisGale Cancer Center is the only facility that offers the Varian TrueBeam and the da Vinci Xi technologies in this area.
Another notable addition to LewisGale Cancer Center is Genius 3D Mammography. This technology detects 41 percent more invasive breast cancers than traditional 2D mammography. It is considered a low-dose technology that cuts the need for extra digital images, and it best serves women with dense breast tissue.
The upgrades do not end there. LewisGale has implemented a new treatment planning system that includes improved quality assurance tools that will allow the center to enhance its patient monitoring and quality checks. Physicians and technologists at the LewisGale Cancer centers in Salem and Pulaski can access the system. This will streamline treatment options for cancer patients throughout the region.
LewisGale Regional Cancer Center in Salem was able to achieve these upgrades through a $15.5 million, multi-phase capital project. The radiation therapy technology and renovations alone cost $6.5 million. Meanwhile, the da Vinci Xi Surgical System cost $2 million, the 3D Mammography unit cost $1 million and the new medical office building cost $6 million.
The LewisGale Regional Health System encompasses 44 HCA-owned patient care facilities, including four hospitals, two regional cancer centers, six outpatient centers, and affiliations with employed and self-employed physicians. In 2015 LewisGale provided more than $43.1 million in uncompensated care, at hospital cost to patients in need. HCA Virginia, which includes LewisGale, is the fifth-largest private employer in the Commonwealth with more than 15,000 employees.
“We understand the need for excellent care in our community and we want to provide the best care possible,” wrote Myers. “We feel our newly renovated/constructed oncology center stands as our commitment to the citizens in our region.”
~ John Rogers: MD with LewisGale Cancer Center in Roanoke, Virginia