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June 27, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Stephanie Poyant
Public Information Officer
Southcoast Health System
Office: 508-961-5280
Cell: 774-634-1460
Fax: 508-961-5876
Pager: 508-387-2532
[email protected]
Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care in Fairhaven opens June 27
New center offers complete range of cancer care provided by local and nationally-recognized
cancer physicians with a wide span of knowledge and expertise
FAIRHAVEN, Mass. — Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care began treating patients at its
new Fairhaven location on Monday, June 27. Residents of the eastern part of the South Coast
region, for the first time, now have convenient access to high-quality, comprehensive cancer care
without having to travel great distances.
“It is crucial for South Coast communities to have access to high-quality oncology
services without having to travel,” said Keith A. Hovan, President of Southcoast Health System
and President & CEO of Southcoast Hospitals Group. “With the opening of our new Southcoast
Centers for Cancer Care in Fairhaven — in addition to our existing site at Charlton Memorial
Hospital in Fall River — Southcoast fulfills its promise to the community to make these services
available to all.”
The opening of the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care’s Fairhaven site brings together
advanced diagnostic services, state-of-the-art radiation therapy and medical oncology, such as
chemotherapy, in a peaceful, natural setting designed with input from cancer patients. The 56,000
square foot center is conveniently located right off of Interstate 195 on 206 Mill Road in
Fairhaven. Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care has two locations, Dartmouth, which will be
transitioning patients to the new Fairhaven location, and Fall River located in the Mitchelle
Building at Charlton Memorial Hospital.
“The Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care have been developed with the primary focus
on our patients medical, emotional and social needs,” said Therese M. Mulvey, MD, Physician-
in-Chief & Medical Oncologist for the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care. “We are dedicated to
bringing out patients and their families the very best cancer treatment possible and making it
available right here in their community.”
The care delivered at the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care is complemented by a
cancer team, which includes dedicated medical and radiation oncologists and staff who have been
treating cancer patients at Southcoast for decades and new staff who include top-tier clinicians
with a wealth of experience from some of the major academic cancer centers around the country.
Practicing with Dr. Mulvey at the new center is Elizabeth Blanchard, MD, Medical
Oncologist; Patrick J. Gagnon, MD, Radiation Oncologist; Tushar Kumar, MD, Radiation
Oncologist: Harry Matelski, MD, Medical Oncologist; Todd F. Roberts, MD, MSc, Medical
Oncologist, and Mark Shparber, MD, Medical Oncologist. The center will be welcoming two
additional oncologists this summer.
Technology & treatments
The Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care in both Fairhaven and Fall River feature the very
latest technology in radiation therapy and medical oncology to treat a wide variety of cancers.
Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy where a very small radioactive piece of
metal — is placed directly into the patient. This treatment is used on certain tumors and
when the cancer is confined to one organ or tissue and there is no evidence of spreading.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) uses computer-controlled X-ray
accelerators to deliver precise radiation doses to a malignant tumor or specific areas
within the tumor while minimizing the dose to surrounding normal tissue.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) allows radiation oncologists and therapists
to image a tumor just before delivering radiotherapy or even during treatment. This is
important because tumors can shift location slightly. With IGRT, radiation beams can be
adjusted so they hit the tumor with precision that can be measured in millimeters while
avoiding surrounding healthy tissue.
Stereotactic Radiotherapy delivers a much higher dose of radiation than standard
radiation therapy, requiring a much higher level of precision to prevent damage of
surrounding tissue. The linear accelerator room’s floor-to-ceiling imaging system and
robotic couch with six-dimensional movement allow for the precise positioning of
patients, which is necessary for this type of radiation therapy.
Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive approach to
lung surgery that introduces a tiny video camera into the patient’s chest. The thoracic
surgeon uses the video camera to view the anatomy and other surgical instruments that
are introduced into the chest via small incisions or “ports.”
Navigating Cancer Treatment
In addition to top-quality medical care, the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care in
Fairhaven offers many services to help patient and their families navigate cancer treatment.
Patient Navigator: The Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care have a dedicated,
experienced oncology nurse who serves as a Patient Navigator — a “go-to” person to
help coordinate appointments, answer questions and point patients in the right direction.
Nutrition Counseling: It is important to eat well during cancer treatment but patients
sometimes experience loss of appetite or other eating problems that makes healthy eating
difficult. The Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care have licensed dietitians available to
work with patients to help them identify foods that are appetizing and nutritious.
Resource Library: The Resource Library is available for anyone seeking additional
information on cancer diagnoses and care. The library offers computers with Internet
access and a wealth of materials from a wide variety of sources, including the American
Cancer Society. WiFi is available throughout the building for those who have their own
laptops or Internet-capable mobile devices.
Support Groups: It is often helpful for patients and family members to spend time with
people who are sharing their experience. The Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care offer
support groups for patients and family members to share their experiences with their
peers in a comfortable, safe environment facilitated by a licensed social worker.
Clinical Trials Program
The Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care has a new clinical trials program that will
eventually allow access to trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. Patients can
participate in trials testing new and developing treatments for their cancer.
“Participating in clinical trials is important for the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care
because that is how progress is made, and we want to be a part of that here,” said Elizabeth
Blanchard, MD, a medical oncologist who will be leading the clinical trials program. “Clinical
trials have to be a part of a comprehensive cancer program, and this is a great opportunity to bring
this type of advanced treatment to an area that largely hasn’t seen these kinds of trials.”
Blanchard also noted that programs that participate in clinical trials are held to a higher
standard of care giving patients further confidence that they are receiving the best care available.
Big Impact on Patient Care — Less Impact on the Environment
The Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care in Fairhaven incorporates many “green”
elements to preserve its natural surroundings, reduce the use of resources and minimize impact on
the environment. Those elements include:
Preservation of surrounding wetlands to promote habitat and biodiversity.
Landscaping designed to minimize the need for permanent irrigation using native,
drought-tolerant species.
High-efficiency window glazing and shading devices to reduce heat gain or loss that are
oriented to maximize views and daylight.
Light-colored roofing materials that reflect light to reduce the heat-island effect.
Interior lighting controls that operate by occupancy sensors with manual overrides.
A robust recycling program.
A green roof to reduce the heat island effect and provide additional onsite rain absorption
while affording patients a pleasant and relaxing view.
For The Community — By The Community
The Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care were developed to address the growing need for
advanced cancer treatment services in the community. As a not-for-profit charitable organization,
Southcoast Health System depends upon the generosity of the community. Donations of any
amount help to support the vital services provided to cancer patients. For information on how you
can support comprehensive cancer care in our region, please contact the Southcoast Office of
Philanthropy at 508-961-5353, email [email protected] or make a gift online at
Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care at Fairhaven is a tobacco-free campus. For the health
and safety of our patients, staff and visitors, smoking or the use of tobacco products is not
allowed in our building or anywhere on our grounds.
More information about the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care can be found at
About Southcoast Health System & Southcoast Hospitals Group
Southcoast Health System is a community based health delivery system with multiple
access points, offering an integrated continuum of health services throughout Southeastern
Massachusetts and East Bay, Rhode Island. It includes the three hospitals that make up
Southcoast Hospitals Group — Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke’s Hospital in
New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham.
Southcoast provides advanced clinical services, such as open heart surgery, angioplasty
and heart rhythm services, comprehensive cancer care, neurosurgery, weight loss surgery,
orthopedic surgery and advanced imaging services. Southcoast is a not-for-profit charitable
organization that depends on the support of the community to provide services.
More information is available online at Connect to Southcoast at
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