As the date grows closer for OhioHealth's Marion General Hospital to open its new $20 million cancer center in the fall, the hospital's oncology staff shed light on how it feels to work with patients fighting for their lives every day.
The OhioHealth Marion Cancer Center is on track to be completed by the end of September and the teams are already preparing to make the transition into the new space, according to Communications & Media Relations Manager Jill Fazekas.
"We are just so excited to be able to share this with the community and make cancer care easier for them. That's a really big deal to us," Fazekas said.
The $20 million cost of the new building is not only an investment in the cancer patients but an investment in the oncology staff and its work to provide the best level of care for patients right here in Marion County.
Currently, the building is in the "exciting phase" where things are finally coming together in preparation to be unveiled to the community, Fazekas explained.
"You can start to see the different areas and how they’re laid out, and that’s when it gets really exciting,” she said.
The first group of medical workers toured the new building May 4, and more are working to schedule tours now to see their future workspace.
Tours and ribbon cutting events will be accessible to the public once the center opens in the fall.
Nurses working to provide cancer care were able to give feedback to the design team throughout the process as they know best what patients need for day-to-day operations and care, explained Marlena Tomcsik, RN, Infusion Services.
“Throughout the process, we were provided blueprints – originally what they were going to do and then what they were actually do it,” Tomcsik said.
“They asked for feedback if we wanted our bathroom here or if we wanted our breakroom there," she continued.
Along with the new building, several new services are to be offered to cancer patients, including dry needling and acupuncture. The center will also be the first in the OhioHealth system to have palliative care as on outpatient service.
"They don’t have to go to Columbus or Cleveland – I think that’s the goal. When they’re under all this stress from cancer and then their families have to travel to Cleveland or Columbus. It just puts extra stress on the family, so to be this close to home and get that care is really, really important,” Fazekas said.
Seeing this strain of family members and loved ones trying to best support their loved ones fighting the disease is an unexpected hardship when working with cancer patients, lead radiation therapist of radiation oncology, Julia Scott, explained.
"I think one of the harder parts is watching the family members that really don’t know what to do, because you’re not only really caring for just the patient but you’re taking the whole family along on this journey because they feel so helpless,” she said.
“Your spouse, your loved one, your sister, whoever, has this disease that you can’t really see, usually, and I think it’s a really helpless feeling for the loved ones."
Story by: Sophia Veneziano (740) 564 - 5243 | firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Marion Star: OhioHealth's Marion General gearing up to open new cancer center