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Cancer center moving forward

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The new cancer center (as seen from the southeast corner of Boyd Avenue and State Street) will tie together the buildings on the Hancock Regional Hospital campus. (Drawing provided)
The new cancer center (as seen from the southeast corner of Boyd Avenue and State Street) will tie together the buildings on the Hancock Regional Hospital campus. (Drawing provided)

GREENFIELD — If all the blocks fall into place, Greenfield will be home to a comprehensive cancer care center next spring.

With last week’s approval by the Hancock Regional Hospital Board of Trustees, officials hope to break ground on the $10.4 million project next week, said Bobbi Dunne, hospital vice president of outpatient and clinical operations.

“We’re still on schedule for (opening in) the spring of next year,” Dunne said.  

Board members unanimously approved the two-story, 27,000-square-foot addition to the Hancock Surgery Center along East Boyd Avenue in Greenfield.

The addition will house a main lobby and reception area; family lounge; and the radiation oncology department, which will include the new center’s linear accelerator that delivers radiation therapy.

The project will also include a 4,835-square-foot renovation to the second floor of the surgery center to incorporate the medical oncology department; a multipurpose meeting room; and a meditation terrace.

Michelle Nuckols, architect with Indianapolis-based Architects Forum, which has designed several projects for the hospital, said pulling the hospital’s various buildings together toward a unified campus and folding aesthetics into a cutting-edge treatment center were the firm’s goals in designing the building.

“The challenge was there were not a lot of views from that spot, so we moved the infusion suite, medical oncology and the garden space to the second floor,” Nuckols said.

By incorporating vistas and views, planners hope to provide a diversion for patients undergoing treatment day in and day out at the center.

The project will also incorporate several amenities such as a boutique, coffee services and a research area.

The hospital has also updated its diagnostic imaging department to keep pace with the new center, recently completing construction on its new MRI suite. The project added a more powerful 3-tesla MRI machine and laid groundwork for installation of an upgraded CT scanner to support patient treatment for radiation oncology, Dunne said.

“We’re creating a truly state-of-the-art technology center to support cancer care,” she said.

For several years, the hospital had an arrangement with IU Health physicians to provide cancer care locally through their offices on an outpatient basis; however, that group decided to move its linear accelerator for radiation therapy out of the county, and patients balked at traveling for treatment.

To fill that void, the hospital opened the doors to its new cancer center in temporary quarters last September.

The cancer center is a collaborative effort between the hospital and St. Vincent Cancer Center in Indianapolis, but the new construction will be funded totally by the hospital, officials have said.

The new facility may also expand the care center’s workforce with the addition of four or five more staff members .

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