Ocean City Today

PRMC opens cancer facility, welcomes first patient Sept. 5

By Katie Tabeling | Aug 31, 2017
Photo by: Katie Tabeling Peninsula Regional Medical Center board members, staff and other local officials cut the ribbon on the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute in Ocean Pines on Wednesday evening. The facility, which will provide quality treatment for cancer patients, will see its first patient on Sept. 5.

(Sept. 1, 2017) The Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute in Ocean Pines opened its doors to Worcester County residents Wednesday evening, taking a dramatic step forward in treating cancer on the lower Eastern Shore.

“We have served the Worcester County area for 50 years, and 25 percent of our current population served at the center is from Worcester County,” Henson Cancer Institute Executive Director Joan Mischtschuk said. “Our goal is to provide comprehensive, coordinated care and access to clinical trials closer to home for the Worcester and Sussex county residents.”

The 20,000-square-foot facility is the second structure at the Delmarva Health Pavilion on Cathage Road. Peninsula Regional Medical Center and Gillis Gilkerson broke ground on the site in June 2016. The first oncology patient will be seen on Sept. 5.

The $9.9 million center will provide one location for cancer patients. Services include oncology-certified nutritionist, genetic counseling, and personalized fitting for breast prostheses and post-op garments.

The institute also works with several organizations, including Women Supporting Women, American Cancer Society, and Komen Maryland and Lymphoma Society to provide family and individual counseling.

The institute also offers radiation therapy with TrueBeam, an image-guided radiosurgery system that delivers powerful treatment with pinpoint accuracy to within less than a millimeter to help spare healthy tissue while killing cancer cells.

The Heron Center Institute will also be home to a comfortable therapy center to make chemotherapy easier for patients.

“Our chemotherapy suites are designed to give patients and their support person privacy and comfort,” Mischtschuk said. “Each infusion bay overlooks a beautiful garden and provides individual TV access, radio, and internet. We have a pet therapy program, and prescriptions may be filled by our pharmacy next door and delivered.”

Patients will also have access to clinical trials thanks to Peninsula Regional’s participation in the Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network, National Cancer Institute studies and pharmaceutical sponsored studies.

PRMC has played an active role in clinical trials since the 1990s, and Mischtschuk said that the new facility will provide cutting-edge treatment to Worcester County. That way, patients won’t have to drive hours to find a promising clinical trial.

“A guiding principle of the research program is to provide better access to promising clinical trials to patients in our area, so they do not need to drive hours in order to find a trial they might be interested in participating in,” she said. “Our active role in clinical trials means that the medical world’s greatest advances from first-class medical and pharmaceutical research are available on Delmarva.”


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