Ray and Kay Eckstein Regional Cancer Care Center to celebrate completion of radiation therapy renovation
The $19.1 million Ray & Kay Eckstein Regional Cancer Care Center, which opened to patients a year ago, will celebrate completion of its final phase â€“ renovation of the adjacent 12,000-square-foot radiation therapy center â€“ at Baptist Health Paducah on Sept. 6.
The $19.1 million Ray & Kay Eckstein Regional Cancer Care Center, which opened to patients a year ago, will celebrate completion of its final phase – renovation of the adjacent 12,000-square-foot radiation therapy center – at Baptist Health Paducah on Sept. 6. The public is invited to attend a ribbon-cutting and tour at 4:30 p.m.
Baptist has offered radiation therapy since 1987 in the H. Earl Feezor Radiation Therapy Center. It is the only radiation therapy service in Paducah and surrounding counties.
The radiation therapy area includes five exam and two treatment rooms, including stereotactic radiosurgery, which can reduce treatments for some patients from weeks to days. The recent renovation added:
Larger dressing rooms with private restrooms.
Larger exam rooms to accommodate family members.
Lymphedema treatment room and improved space for genetic counseling.
Improved office and work space for medical staff.
The project began in 2015 with construction of the new two-story 44,000-square-foot center on Broadway, near the intersection of 24th Street, on the northeast corner of the campus. The center opened in July 2017, consolidating a variety of cancer services, including lab, pharmacy and chemotherapy, into one location, adjacent to the existing radiation therapy center.
“This renovation completes our project to provide the latest technology in the most convenient and comfortable surroundings for those fighting cancer and their families,” said Chris Roty, hospital president. “This completes the region’s crown jewel of cancer care, which started with our first cobalt treatment in 1967.”
The center was funded in part by proceeds from the “Celebrating Miracles, Transforming Lives” capital campaign, which raised $12.1 million for cancer, cardiac, maternity and outreach services. To honor gifts designated to the radiation therapy center, areas have been named:
Biggs Radiation Oncology Dressing Rooms.
Emma Louise Upshaw Nursing Station.
Linear accelerator rooms honoring radiation oncologist Dr. Peter Locken and wife Christy; and in memory of William R. Black Jr. by Ray Black & Son.
Baptist became the region’s first nationally-accredited multidisciplinary cancer program in 2001. Radiation oncology has been accredited since 1998. Besides stereotactic radiosurgery, other recent technology upgrades include da Vinci robotic surgery 10 years ago and 3-D mammography five years ago.
“The sign that stood for years in front of the H. Earl Feezor Radiation Therapy Center quoted Isaiah 40:31,” said Roty, “and those words still inspire our staff and patients on this cancer journey every day: ‘Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.’”
Cancer is a leading threat to the health of area residents. The five most common locally are lung, breast, prostate, melanoma and colon cancer.
In addition to board-certified medical and radiation oncologists and surgeons, the staff includes 24 oncology-certified nurses, radiation therapists, dosimetrists, physicists, patient navigators and social workers with a combined 500 years of experience, averaging 21 years each.
“Our patients appreciate that everything they need is in one place,” said Mike Tutor, executive director for heart, oncology and radiology services, “and there is room for friends and family to be with them every step of the way.”
The center offers unique services, such as genetic counseling and lymphedema care, as well as preventive screenings and awareness campaigns.
The beauty of the two-story center, as well as the newly-renovated radiation therapy area, is enhanced with original artwork by patients and donors. Local artist Kijsa Housman, who assists on each piece, said, “Each piece is inspired as a unique tribute to those affected by cancer.”
Paducah realtor Leslie Heath, a breast cancer survivor, just completed the first piece in the radiation therapy center’s new art series, “Bloom where you are planted,” with assistance from her family and Housman. Among the colorful blooms, it includes notes of support she received during her chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
“With cancer, you’re not just in and out – it’s a fight, it’s a journey,” she said, “and this was a perfect opportunity to tell the story with a work of art.”
Baptist Health Foundation Paducah has coordinated the Survivor Art Project and continues to accept contributions, providing donors with the opportunity to name and participate in the creation of each piece of art. For more information, phone 270.575.2871.