According to the American Cancer Society, 128,700 new cancer cases will be diagnosed throughout the states of New York and Connecticut by the end of 2011, with this number increasing through 2012. In an effort to accommodate the needs and demands of the Lower Hudson Valley, Northeast Radiology has implemented a plan to expand physically, as well as in terms of improving services and efficiency.
On Nov. 9, Northeast Radiology announced its plans to expand its state-of-the-art cancer treatment center, which according to COO/CFO Hal Clark would improve accessibility to healthcare to surrounding residents and could provide a boost to the local economy, as well.
“We think this center is so exciting to the community,” Clark said. “Hospitals are great places for really sick people, but when you’re going to get regular treatment—people that are battling cancer, comfort and convenience are a big deal. Comfort is a big part of our center.”
Located on Route 6 in Brewster, Northeast Radiology provides radiation therapy to those battling various forms cancer and specializes in neurological, spinal, musculoskeletal, full-body, cardiovascular and women’s imaging. Its expansion would include a top-of-the-line Varian linear accelerator radiotherapy system that helps to provide radiation to a more-specified area, ultimately cutting down on the amount of healthy cells that affected during treatment.
“We will have the potential to substantially improve both comfort and cure rates by protecting healthy tissue while delivering more powerful doses to the tumor,” Clark said. “The ability to make sure that you deliver the right amount of radiation at the right spot in the smallest area possible means that you are going to the least damage to healthy tissue.”
According to Clark, this “intensity modulated radiation therapy” has been dubbed as one of the most precise, sophisticated methods of treatment in the world. This could be helpful for tricky procedures where permanent damage could be debilitating to a patient’s lifestyle.
“If you’re doing face and neck, you don’t want to bother the optic nerve or the spinal column,” Clark said. “This will enable Northeast Radiology to not only diagnose but also to treat many cancer including prostate, breast, head and neck, lung, pancreatic and others where precisely placed beams focus to carefully target tumor cells without harming surrounding healthy tissue.”
With the hopes of getting approved by the proper governmental agencies, Northeast Radiology anticipates to get its expansion underway by next year. Though the main goal is to provide better, more intimate healthcare to the area’s residents, Clark said the addition to his center could help bring highly-skilled, specialized jobs to the surrounding area, too.
Some of these jobs aren’t conventional, office jobs, however. With the help of modern technology that improves connectedness between an office and its workers, Clark said the expansion could bring additional “virtual” jobs that allow employees to work from home.
“With the computers these day and people having cable connections, there’s no compelling reason to have them come into an office all of the time,” Clark said. “We already have three employees that are electronic commuters—one gal is working from California.”
For now, the focus will be on giving those in need of treatment the best possible care with the most comfort and the least change in one’s daily routine.
“[Northeast Radiology] wants to create and treat that human dimension,” Clark said. “You can’t just treat the body, you have to treat the soul.”