Home Local News Haven of Hope: FirstHealth set to open comprehensive cancer center

Haven of Hope: FirstHealth set to open comprehensive cancer center

Photo by FirstHealth

PINEHURST — After nearly two years of construction, FirstHealth of the Carolinas will finish out March by opening its new comprehensive cancer center to patients.

The four-story, 120,000-square-foot center, designed to change the way FirstHealth delivers cancer care, was purpose-built to become a “haven of hope” for patients and their families.

FirstHealth Chief Executive Officer Mickey Foster said the center will bring all outpatient cancer services together under one roof, streamlining the care process for patients and offering expanded support services.

“Our dream all along has been that this center becomes a hub for cancer care across the Sandhills and beyond, and I look forward to seeing how this world-class space allows our award-winning care teams to deliver on our core purpose — To Care for People,” Foster said. “We have made a commitment to the communities we serve to deliver high-quality care close to home, and the cancer center represents our next step to keep that promise.”

In addition to state-of-the-art treatment facilities, the center will house palliative care services, research and clinical trials, navigation and support services for patients and caregivers, nutrition services and a dedicated wellness center, well-equipped with a Yoga room. A healing garden outside the building will offer a place for patients and their families to connect and relax.

Cancer treatment in the new center could involve patients and their caregivers visiting a meditation room or taking part in a yoga class. The combination of support services and treatment will improve FirstHealth’s ability to provide comprehensive care and bring it all together under one roof. FirstHealth providers and staff will continue to work in concert with Pinehurst Medical Clinic medical oncology and hematology providers, surgeons from Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, radiation oncologists from Pinehurst Radiation Oncology, as well as FirstHealth gynecologic oncologists and palliative care providers.

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Radiation oncologist Sushma Patel, M.D., and Pinehurst Surgical Clinic surgeon Raymond Washington, M.D., will serve as co-medical directors of the Cancer Center.

“We have anxiously watched throughout the construction process, knowing that this space would completely change the game for how our care teams treat patients,” Patel said. “As we move into the space, I know that we will continue to provide exceptional, compassionate care close to the communities we serve and make the experience —  from diagnosis to treatment and into recovery —  seamless.”

Community support was key in the center becoming a reality. The Building the Dream campaign —  a $30 million fundraising effort led by The Foundation of FirstHealth —  paid for almost half of the $68 million construction project.

Art Medeiros, chairman of the Foundation Board, said the center represents a commitment to fighting cancer and helping patients and their families navigate a complex care process.

“This center is a beachhead in our efforts to fight cancer. This center of healing, this haven of hope that we have, is yours,” Medeiros said Tuesday during a ribbon-cutting for the new center. “We have been watching this center take physical shape for months now, but I don’t just see a building. I see the processes that will happen inside the building that will help people navigate their cancer journey through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. We have been honored to have the community’s support in this campaign.”

The center will open to patients and caregivers on Monday, March 27.