FREE e-scribe now!

This week’s edition!

CMHC breaks ground for new Cancer Care Center

Facility will expand access to enhanced services

Central Maine Healthcare broke ground last Thursday for its new Cancer Care Center that consolidates cutting-edge oncology services in a convenient location for the region. Construction on the 52,000-square-foot facility on the Central Maine Medical Center campus in Lewiston was to begin this week and is expected to be completed in February 2020. Helping with groundbreaking are Jeffrey L. Brickman, FACHE, president and CEO of Central Maine Healthcare, left; U.S. Senator Susan Collins; Deborah Dunlap Avasthi, chair of Central Maine Healthcare Board of Directors; Steven G. Littleson, DBA, FACHE, president of Central Maine Medical Center; Hector Tarraza, MD, Central Maine Healthcare system chief of oncology and associate chief of surgical care; and Nicholette Erickson, MD. (Photo courtesy of CMH)

From CMHC

LEWISTON – Central Maine Healthcare broke ground last week 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 was to begin this 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 will provide 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.”

U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Aging Committee, delivered remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the center. 

“I doubt that there is anyone here today whose life has not been affected by cancer, either personally or in a loved one.  Against this scourge that causes so much pain and suffering, so much fear and uncertainty, and so much heartbreak, CMH fights back with skill, technology, dedication, and compassion,” said Senator Collins.  “By consolidating oncology services that will be supported by state-of-the-art equipment, patients will have convenient access to the highest quality care close to home.  The CMH Cancer Care Center will enhance the outstanding multispecialty, team-based care CMH provides.”

 With more than 8,000 new diagnoses each year, cancer incidence in Maine is above the national average.  By consolidating all oncology services at CMH, the new center will allow patients to receive care without having to travel to other care providers, saving the community nearly $1 million annually in travel costs and preventing patients from having to drive more than 35,000 hours each year.

 State regulators gave the final approval to the project in April.

 Senator Collins has been a longstanding champion for greater investments in biomedical research, oncology services, and telehealth infrastructure.  Through the CARES Act, she has helped secure more than $490 million in COVID-19 relief for Maine health care providers, including $33 million for the CMH hospital system.  In addition, Senator Collins successfully advocated for a $2.6 billion increase for the NIH in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations package.

Services at the new center will include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, precision medicine, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and stem cell transplants.

Leave a Reply


Contact Us!

9 North River Road, #232
Auburn, ME 04210
(207) 795-5017
info@twincitytimes.com