Cancer Center expansion project

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Last fall Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center broke ground on a $4.7 million addition to the Richard E. Winter Cancer Treatment Center. The Claxton-Hepburn Foundation is now announcing the public phase of a fundraising initiative to support this effort. This is the second major expansion of the cancer center since it first opened in 1994, and will be the first phase of a series of capital projects with an overarching capital campaign called "Together…Our Health, Our Future."

James Chadwick, co-chair of the fundraising project, says, "We are so grateful for the efforts the community has made in the past to help us meet our goals, and we hope they will rise to the challenge with us once more."

Linda Fay, the other co-chair of the project, says "The community trusts us with their healthcare on a daily basis, so it's important we make the best care available to them and their loved ones. We can work together to make this fundraising goal a reality."

The addition to the cancer center will feature a new "bunker" with 8-foot-thick concrete walls, which prevent radiation from scattering outside the room. According to Dr. John Gebert, radiation oncologist, "The new Trilogy linear accelerator has the ability to deliver a very concentrated amount of radiation to a spot of any size, even half the thickness of a dime. Using three-dimensional imaging and localization techniques, physicians determine the exact coordinates of the tumor and provide the most focused and effective treatment." The result of this technology is that less of the surrounding tissue is affected by the radiation treatment, allowing for treatment of tumors that may be in sensitive areas such as the lungs and the brain. Another benefit of this technology is that it significantly shortens treatment sessions to as little as five minutes.

"Our goal is to offer the highest quality oncology treatment options to people in our community," says Cindy Clusen, executive director of the CHMC Foundation.

"With four full-time oncologists, a full-time nurse practitioner, a full-time physicist, and national accreditations including a Breast Health Center accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), Claxton-Hepburn maintains the highest level of technology and expertise and the broadest array of services in the region," says Jerry Sheppard, director of the Richard E. Winter Cancer Treatment Center. "Now we will be the only hospital with these advanced capabilities that the Trilogy system offers between Syracuse, New York, and Burlington, Vermont."