Central Maine Healthcare on Thursday broke ground for its new Cancer Care Center that consolidates cutting-edge oncology services in a convenient location for the region.
“It’s a momentous day for Central Maine Healthcare and the communities we serve. Patients will have increased access to high-quality care supported by the latest technology – all close to where they live, work, play and pray,” said Jeffrey L. Brickman, FACHE, president and CEO of Central Maine Healthcare. “It’s part of our vision to change the face of healthcare in Maine.”
Healthcare professionals, elected officials and community leaders joined Central Maine Healthcare to celebrate the occasion. The masked, socially distanced groundbreaking ceremony took place at the Central Maine Medical Center campus in Lewiston, where the Cancer Care Center will be built.
Construction on the $33.2 million project is scheduled to begin next week and is expected to be completed in February 2022. One of the goals of the ambitious project is consolidating oncology services in an accessible, centralized location so patients do not have to make their way to different parts of the Lewiston hospital campus for their care.
The need for expanded and enhanced cancer care is great, said Central Maine Medical Center President Steven G. Littleson, DBA, FACHE. He noted that the incidence of cancer in Maine has increased, and Androscoggin County has one of the highest occurrences of cancer in the state.
“Cancer is the leading cause of death in Maine and our state has the 12th-highest rate of cancer mortality,” Littleson said. “Our objective with this awesome new facility is to put a serious dent in those numbers.”
The new two-story, 52,000-square-foot Cancer Care Center will house the Central Maine Cancer Institute, which provides multispecialty, team-based care. The facility will also house new equipment, including new linear accelerators critical for radiation therapy.
Hector Tarraza, MD, CMH’s system chief of oncology and associate chief of surgical care, spoke of the staff who will care for the patients at the Cancer Care Center.
“Doctors, nurses, staff members, social workers, pharmacists – a team truly dedicated to caring for these individuals. One of the nicest things that I know about the staff is that every single one of them will treat them with their heart,” he said. “They’re going to provide understanding and kindness and caring and empathy throughout their entire journey as they are treated.”