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Jul 31, 2018 12:06 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Phillips Family Cancer Center Expected To Open By Late December

Kevin Unruh and David Lopez walk through the second floor of the cancer center. ELSIE BOSKAMP
Aug 3, 2018 1:22 PM

With construction well underway on County Road 39 in Southampton Village, the $24 million Phillips Family Cancer Center, one of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s latest projects, is expected to open by the end of this year. The new center will provide patients with a one-stop shop for cancer treatment, including planning, radiation and chemotherapy, clinical trials, education, and supportive care, officials have said.

Work began last year on the roughly 14,300-square-foot, two-story building, located at the site of an old potato farm, and is expected to wrap up in late November. If all regulatory requirements are met, the center should begin seeing patients just before the new year, according to Kevin Unruh, vice president of imaging and cancer services at the hospital.

The center was designed by Blaze Makoid Architecture, a Bridgehampton-based firm. Victor Famulari Architect, P.C, was the architect of record.

The facility will offer both medical oncology, which includes chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. The new center will house the South Fork’s first radiation oncology unit, with the next-closest units being located in Riverhead and Commack.

“This gives the East End community the ability to be close to home but also served with an academic-based treatment center,” said Mr. Unruh, who has been overseeing the project with David Lopez, the hospital’s director of facilities management and engineering. “We looked at what’s out there today, we spoke to patients, we spoke to physicians, and we came up with a functional but practical and comfortable space.”

In addition to the new facility, which is being built by E.W. Howell Construction Group, patients will also now have access to clinical trials being offered through Stony Brook Medicine.

“Having access to clinical trials and newest treatments is so important,” the hospital’s chief administrative officer, Bob Chaloner, said at an earlier presentation at the Westhampton Free Library. “In East Hampton communities, cancer actually has a higher death rate than cardio issues—no one really knows why—and now we’ll be able to extend clinical trials to those communities.”

The building, which mimics the conceptual design of a potato barn, features ground-floor entrances in both the front and back of the medical center. The front entrance leads to the first floor, where radiation oncology services will be offered, and the back entrance leads to the second floor, where medical oncology services will be offered.

“Everything is being coordinated and things are moving along,” said Robert Timperio, vice president of E.W. Howell’s healthcare division. “It seems to be on track and, hopefully, in a month or two, we should be able to get some of the medical equipment in there.”

Much of the planning for the center was focused on the instillation of a state-of-the-art linear accelerator, the type of machine most commonly used to administer radiation treatment. According to Mr. Unruh, the system is so precise that it “can preserve most of the normal tissue and only treat the tumor” with radiation.

The vault that holds the accelerator sits on the first floor and features thick walls and an 18,000-pound high-density leaded concrete door to ensure that no radiation escapes the room.

“There’s going to be a living roof over the vault, a garden that the landscape architects have put together, so you wouldn’t know that you’re looking at the roof of a linear accelerator vault,” Mr. Lopez noted.

The rooftop garden also will be visible from the second-floor chemotherapy infusion area, which features floor-to-ceiling windows with skyward facing louvers and can accommodate up to 14 patients at any given time.

The patient bays, all equipped with televisions, were designed with an open concept, so patients can be treated together, but, Mr. Unruh noted, they can be made more private by closing the attached curtain.

“It will always be bright, even on a gray day,” Mr. Unruh said of the area, noting that a single treatment can be anywhere from two to eight hours long. “And the vaulted ceilings just give it an open, more comfortable feeling, instead of just being put in a cube.”

The area also features a nurse’s station and attached chemo-compounding pharmacy and will be completely wireless, equipped with infusion pumps that automatically receive and deliver the necessary medication.

Also on the second floor is a staff lounge, physician offices, exam rooms and a conference room, which will be directly wired to Stony Brook University Hospital, and used for physician meetings and patient outreach events, like yoga and nutrition and wellness discussions.

Additional offices and exam rooms, for initial and follow-up consultations, are on the first floor, as well as radiation planning CT scanner, a machine that uses lasers to record data that helps doctors design treatment plans.

Waiting and reception areas as well as public bathrooms will also be on each floor and a stretcher holding area on the ground floor will allow patients in the hospital to be transported to the center for treatment.

Mechanical rooms, with equipment that regulates the temperature of both the building and various machines on the first and second floors, are located on the first floor and in the attic.

Outside, parking will be available in both the front and back of the building, and patients can access the property from both Flying Point Road and County Road 39.

Dr. Samuel Ryu, chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stony Brook, will oversee the center, and a team of Stony Brook radiation oncologists and medical oncologists will operate the facility alongside him.

Openings for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, oncology nurses, medical assistants, radiation therapists, physicists, dosimetrists and nurse practitioners will be filled by Stony Brook Southampton Hospital employees, Mr. Unruh said.

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Sounds like a nice place.
By knitter (1604), Southampton on Aug 7, 18 6:36 PM
1 member liked this comment