OAKLAND, MD – The 2,515 square foot expansion of the WVU Medicine James & Shirley Bailey Cancer Center at Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) opened its doors Monday as the hospital held a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the growth of the outpatient service. Congressman David Trone, who represents Western Maryland in the United States House of Representatives, attended the ribbon cutting and expansion celebration.
“The Cancer Center at Garrett Regional Medical Center has had a tremendous impact on the community in Garrett County, and federal dollars played a role in the Cancer Center’s creation,” said Congressman Trone. “I am honored to be included in the opening of the expanded cancer and infusion center, and I look forward to continuing to work with state and local partners to expand health care and treatment facilities in Garrett County to serve the community.”
The Cancer Center originally opened in 2016, supported in part by a federal grant for cancer navigation services from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. GRMC’s clinical affiliation with West Virginia University Medicine was another determining factor that helped bring oncology services to area residents. Prior to the opening of the Cancer Center on the GRMC campus, there were no oncology services in Garrett County. Area residents had to travel an hour in order to be treated following a cancer diagnosis.
The new center at GRMC includes important additions that will allow the team to care for the whole person. The new space includes the Clara Stuck Survivors Room, where survivors will be able to meet and share stories. It also includes a cosmetology room for the “Look Good, Feel Better” program and a library for patient research on such things as diet, nutrition, and treatment protocols. Expanded procedure rooms provide space for biopsies and other procedures that patients may need.
“The new expansion will allow for the treatment of more patients in their own community, something we are seeing a need for,” stated Kevin Shannon, MD, the center’s medical oncologist. “I’m truly thrilled to be part of such a great and generous community. Caring for patients at a hospital that puts patients first and is known for high quality care is truly a plus. GRMC’s leadership team is very forward thinking, and the impact of that progressive approach for patient care cannot be overstated.”
“The fact that we are expanding our Cancer Center just three years after its initial opening truly demonstrates the level of need we have for this service in our area,” said Mark Boucot, president & CEO of GRMC. “We are especially grateful to the donors who helped make this expansion possible. We could not have done this without their heartfelt support. With this expansion will come enhanced space for clinical procedures, state of the art pharmacy facilities, and space for additional wrap-around services that will allow our Cancer Care Nurse Navigator Program to grow and continue to meet the needs of our patients.”
The Cancer Navigation Program helps patients deal not only with their diagnosis and its impact on themselves and their family members, but also helps them deal with the daily challenges of living with a chronic condition. The hospital’s navigators assist patients in addressing issues with insurance coverage, dietary needs, transportation – any manner of day-to-day activities impacted by a cancer diagnosis.
The greatly needed additional space was made possible through the support of several local families and organizations. They include Richard, Ellen, Tracy and Steven Stuck, of Stuck Enterprises and Oakland Oil & Propane; the WGW Youth Cup; Karen and Tom Myers; the Betsy Spiker-Holcomb Real Estate Team; Total Biz Fulfillment; Robert and Pamela Lentz; and David and Lu-Jean Bosely.
“Since its opening in 2016, the Cancer Center has provided treatment and support for close to 1,000 cancer and infusion patients,” noted Mr. Boucot. “We are truly blessed by the great staff that we have throughout the facility, and our amazing cancer care team. It is in our mission that we strive to treat our patients the way that we would treat our own family, and it shows every day in the work that our employees do. It is because of this great staff that so many patients have been able to ring the healing bell in this center, which signifies that they are in remission. It’s awesome that we have this center right here in our own community, and our patients no longer have to travel for care.”