Bay Pines, FL – The Bay Pines VA Medical Center broke ground July 21 on a project that will enhance care for area veterans. The VA Medical Center is constructing a new Radiation Therapy Center where veterans will be able to receive state-of-the-art cancer care. Currently, Bay Pines VA does not offer radiation therapy; veterans requiring this type of cancer treatment must travel to Tampa VA or a community provider. The addition of the Radiation Therapy Center allows for better continuity of care, where veterans will be able to receive most types of cancer treatment on the Bay Pines VA campus.
The new unit is being constructed by Phoenix Medical Construction at an estimated cost of $6.9 million and will be a freestanding building on the northeast side of the 300 acre medical center complex. Expected to open late fall of 2010, the unit is planned for almost 14,000 square feet and will include 2 shielded vaults for radiation therapy, a CT scanner, a treatment planning room, a physicists room, exam rooms, and offices. The linear accelerator, which delivers the radiation, will enable staff to utilized three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), dynamic adaptive radiotherapy (DART), and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT); these technologies will allow staff to precisely target the cancer without affecting surrounding vital organs and tissues. The new center will include a radiation oncologist (physician), nurses, radiation therapists, a medical physicist, and dosimetrists with a capacity to treat 25-40 patients a day.
According to Dr. VanBuskirk, Chief of Staff at Bay Pines VA, “The addition of the new Radiation Therapy Center will greatly enhance access and quality of care for our veterans being treated for cancer. Last year, we cared for almost 15,000 veterans with a cancer diagnosis, many of whom would have benefited from having on-site radiation therapy capabilities and we spent over $4.8 million sending patients to community providers for radiation treatment. Building a new radiation therapy center with state-of-the-art brand new equipment will allow us to reduce costs and enhance our ability to care for America’s veterans.”
Posted July 29, 2009