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CMH, VCU celebrate opening of Solari Center

South Boston News
Community Memorial Healthcenter has partnered with VCU Massey Cancer Center to provide cancer radiation therapy here in the community. Local officials joined with the leadership of both hospitals to mark the grand opening of the Solari Radiation Therapy Center. (Lisa Clary photo)
SoVaNow.com / August 21, 2013
A large crowd of citizens, health care leaders, local politicians and other officials gathered at Community Memorial Healthcenter (CMH) on Wednesday for the official grand opening celebration of the Solari Radiation Therapy Center. The center is a joint venture between CMH and VCU Massey Cancer Center, which together provide CMH’s cancer and specialty care.

CMH and VCU Massey officials provided remarks and shared their excitement about having state-of-the-art radiation therapy available in the southern Virginia area. Sylvia and William (Bill) Solari, whose lead gift of $1 million started the CMH Foundation’s Capital Campaign on the path towards building the center, were recognized for their leadership roles.

Wayne Parrish, Chairman of the CMH Board of Directors, welcomed guests in attendance and expressed hospital directors’ excitement and pride of having this much-needed service conveniently accessible to the region.

CMH President and CEO Scott Burnette remarked, “This is a special day in the history of CMH and another important step in advancing health care for our community. Radiation therapy is a service that has long been needed in our area.” Burnette explained that through the partnership with VCU Massey, the community will enjoy the benefits of a nationally-recognized cancer center with top-notch specialists and access to cutting-edge clinical trials.

VCU Massey officials expressed their pleasure in helping to bring the first radiation therapy center to southern Virginia. John Duval, CEO of MCV Hospitals of the VCU Medical Center, which provides Massey’s clinical oncology care, said, “VCU Massey is pleased to partner with CMH on the radiation center to offer expanded treatment options to local cancer patients and provide advanced cancer care to the region.”

The ability to bring radiation treatment to Southern Virginia was made possible through a partnership between CMH and VCU Massey Cancer Center, a grant from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, the Solaris’ generous gift, and tremendous community support.

Burnette expressed appreciation to all who helped make the project possible. He remarked, “Thanks to you, our generous, supportive community, we are now realizing this vision. The Solari Radiation Therapy Center is so named to recognize the generous gift of two very special people, Sylvia and Bill Solari. When Sylvia and Bill retired to the Lake Gaston area, they embraced this community and became actively involved in many projects. They have been a blessing to this area.”

To the Solaris, he added, “Sylvia and Bill, we are so grateful for your generosity. You led the charge to make this radiation center a reality — a service that will touch the lives of many in our area.”

Bill Solari addressed guests and expressed his family’s excitement at seeing the center become a reality. He said,” The addition of radiation therapy will make a difference for cancer patients in our area. Sylvia and I are so pleased that we could help advance healthcare in our community from success to significance.”

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted by Frank Malone, director of the South Hill Chamber of Commerce, after which guests toured the facility.

The Solari Radiation Therapy Center is located adjacent to the Hendrick Cancer & Rehab Center where medical oncology and hematology care is provided by CMH and Massey. The two medical teams — medical and radiation oncology — work together to provide CMH Cancer and Specialty Care’s coordinated, multidisciplinary evaluation, treatment planning and overall cancer care.

About CMH Cancer and Specialty Care: Led by VCU Massey Cancer Center, CMH Cancer and Specialty Care offers outpatient ambulatory services in medical hematology-oncology and radiation oncology for all adult cancers, including complex and rare cancers, and blood disorders. Services include advanced cancer diagnostics and treatment, such as chemotherapy; hormone therapy; immunotherapy; image-guided, intensity-modulated and stereotactic radiation therapy; clinical trials; CT and MRI imaging modalities; pharmacy; rehabilitation; genetic counseling; nutritional support; social services; pastoral care; and hospice care. Cancer care is provided in the Hendrick Cancer & Rehab Center and in the Solari Radiation Therapy Center at 750 Lombardy Street in South Hill. For more information, visit http://www.cmh-sh.org.

About VCU Massey Cancer Center:
VCU Massey Cancer Center is one of only 67 National Cancer Institute-designated institutions in the country that leads and shapes America’s cancer research efforts. Working with all kinds of cancers, the Center conducts basic, translational and clinical cancer research, provides state-of-the-art treatments and clinical trials, and promotes cancer prevention and education. Visit Massey online at http://www.massey.vcu.edu or call 877-4-MASSEY for more information.

Background and timeline:

Cancer has been a major health concern for the residents of the Southern Virginia area for many years. In fact, cancer is one of the top three causes of death for the people of this region. For over 25 years, CMH has successfully operated its medical oncology program, but the lack of radiation therapy has been a major barrier for many local cancer patients needing it.

Plans to build the radiation therapy center began in 2010 when officials from CMH & VCU Massey Cancer Center began discussions on partnering to expand cancer care options in the area.

In 2010, CMH also began planning for a $6 million capital campaign to support the construction of the radiation therapy center, the first phase of a $19 million multi-expansion plan. The Solaris’ lead gift, directed to the radiation therapy center, kicked off the campaign. At the public campaign event held in the fall of 2011, the campaign gained more momentum when Mr. and Mrs. Rick Hendrick and Ms. Cathy Hendrick announced a generous gift of $2 million, bringing the campaign funds to $3 million. With the support of many individuals, businesses, and organizations, the campaign exceeded the $6 million goal, raising over $6,100,000 by the fall of 2012.

In January 2012, a Certificate of Public Need was granted by the State Health Commissioner to CMH and VCU Massey Cancer Center in a joint venture to move forward with the radiation therapy center. VCU Massey began providing the medical hematology-oncology services at CMH in July 2012 and a ground-breaking celebration for the Solari Radiation Therapy Center was held on July 2, 2012. By April, construction on the 5,000 square foot facility was substantially completed and the linear accelerator (the key piece of radiation therapy equipment) was delivered. On July 16, the center began treating patients. The cost of the facility and equipment is $5.3 million.

The addition of radiation therapy will conveniently provide residents in the community both medical and radiation oncology services, adding more treatment options, significantly improving access to care, reducing the physical and financial burdens of travel time for needed care and providing access to cutting-edge clinical trials available at VCU Massey Cancer Center, a national leader in cancer research and treatment.

Dr. Paul G. Goetowski, serves as the director of radiation oncology and Dr. Tzann T. Fang serves as the director of medical oncology at CMH on behalf of VCU Massey Cancer Center. They are supported by a team of dedicated CMH Cancer and Specialty Care staff. The Solari Radiation Therapy Center is located adjacent to the Hendrick Cancer and Rehab Center at 750 Lombardy Street. For more information about CMH Cancer & Specialty Care, visit http://www.cmh-sh.org.







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