Home Health Care Cancer center planned in Harrison

Cancer center planned in Harrison

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center plans to build a $112.3-million outpatient treatment center in a vacant Harrison office building off Interstate 287 purchased two years ago by the Manhattan institute.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring next year and the advanced cancer care facility is expected to open in the first quarter of 2015.

Officials at Memorial Sloan-Kettering are seeking state Health Department approval to open a 114,000-square-foot facility at 500 Westchester Ave. The property, adjoining the Fordham University Westchester campus at 400 Westchester Ave. was last occupied by Verizon Communications Corp. Memorial Sloan-Kettering in 2009 paid $9.2 million to acquire the former Verizon facility from a UBS A.G. affiliate.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering will continue to operate its outpatient cancer care center at Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow when the new Harrison center opens.

Hospital officials said the new ambulatory care center will serve residents of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Rockland counties and Fairfield County, Conn.

“Frequently, cancer patients from this area who choose to receive care from Memorial Sloan-Kettering must travel into Manhattan for treatments and services,” Dr. Maureen Killackey, physician-in-chief and medical director of Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s regional care network, said in a statement. She said almost 13 percent of Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s patients are from the Hudson Valley and western Connecticut. For cancer patients living in Westchester, 71 percent of their ambulatory care visits are to the hospital’s Manhattan facilities.

“With an increasing incidence of cancer, especially as the population ages, as well as advances in early detection and treatment, more patients are surviving longer and will need continued care,” said Killackey. “The new Harrison facility would allow our patients to receive Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s expertise in this outpatient setting, closer to home.”

The proposed center would provide comprehensive ambulatory oncology services to detect, diagnose, treat and support cancer patients.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering officials said the center’s imaging technology would include interventional radiology, using minimally invasive tools for cancer diagnosis and management. A CT simulator and two linear accelerators would map and deliver intensity-modulated and image-guided radiation therapy, a leading-edge technology that allows more precise radiation therapy and reduced radiation exposure.

Hospital officials said chemotherapy treatments would be delivered in a supportive environment by care teams who work with both cancer patients and their families. “Because our staff’s sole focus is on cancer, patients can be sure that their care would reflect the most advanced knowledge about how to treat and live with cancer,” said Killackey.

Conference rooms would be available to both center staff and to local cancer support groups and educational presenters.

Killackey said the center also would expand the hospital’s ability to offer a range of clinical trials that “reflect Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s mission to develop new therapies and deliver them from the research bench to the bedside.”

The Harrison center is expected to open with about 140 full-time employees, including physicians.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s growing regional care network also includes centers in Basking Ridge, N.J., and on Long Island in Commack, Rockville Center and Hauppauge. In 2010, those facilities and the Sleepy Hollow center reported a total of more than 233,000 outpatient visits.

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As managing editor of the Business Journals, John Golden directs news coverage of Westchester and Fairfield counties and the Hudson Valley region. He was an award-winning upstate columnist and feature writer before joining the Business Journal in 2007. He is the author of “Northern Drift: Sketches on the New York Frontier,” a collection of his regional journalism.

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