McDowell hosting open house for new cancer center

September 17, 2004

Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center will open a new Cancer Care Center Sept. 20. The public is invited to get its first look at an open house from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tours will begin in the hospital lobby.

"We are pleased to be opening our Cancer Care Center, and believe it will enhance the quality of care provided to cancer patients and their families," said Harry C. Nickens, vice president for community relations and development at Ephraim McDowell Health.

The Cancer Care Center, located on the third floor of the medical center, is the newest service of the Central Kentucky Cancer Program in partnership with the Ephraim McDowell Health Care Foundation. Existing patient rooms were refurbished, each designated as private and furnished with a sleeper chair for a family member who may need to spend the night.

Also available on the floor is a family resource room, which is equipped with showers and locker facilities for family members. The family resource room also features computer access, a television, a mini-kitchen and a game area. In addition, cancer information from a variety of sources will be available for patients and their families.


"The Cancer Care Center is a very positive feature for our cancer patients and their families," said Barry Michael, president of Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center. "Each room is attractively decorated to be a little more like home while maintaining all the standards for hospital care."

Nickens pointed out that the patient rooms are individually decorated with the patient's comfort in mind.

"Because many cancer patients often have to be hospitalized for an extended period of time, we have decorated the rooms to enhance the comfort level of our patients," Nickens said.

Dr. Thomas Baeker, a Danville physician who specializes in caring for cancer patients, said the Cancer Care Center is a unique feature that sets Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center apart from other local hospitals.

"The Cancer Care Center is a huge step forward in the level of cancer care in this area," Baeker said. "Having a centralized site for inpatient care for cancer patients will benefit patients and their families. All rooms are private, which is a big plus, and the furnishings allow patients' family members to stay extended periods in the room with patients, even through the night if necessary."

Baeker also noted that having the care of cancer patients centralized at one location will mean that the nurses working on that unit will be dedicated to cancer care and will be experts in nursing at that level of cancer care.

Dale Kihlman, chair of the Ephraim McDowell Health Care Foundation, said he believes the local community has needed a Cancer Care Center for a long time.

"Thanks to the efforts of the Foundation and the CKCP, we have finally achieved a major goal here that had been set several years ago," Kihlman said. "I hope we can expand on this new service to provide additional treatment services that are not currently available in this community."

The Cancer Care Center has been funded through generous contributions from individuals and businesses from throughout the community, made during the last two years to the Ephraim McDowell Health Care Foundation.

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