SRMC boosts cancer care
By Caitlin Davis, Senior Staff Writer
Jan 24, 2014, 11:27
CAITLIN DAVIS/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Samantha Westfall, Radiation Therapist, demonstrates the linear accelerator machine at SRMC. It is used in cancer treatment and is only one of two in the area with the other located at the Massey Cancer Center in Richmond.
PETERSBURG — Southside Regional Medical Center in Petersburg has expanded their cancer treatment facilities for not only patients in the Tri-Cities but for the entire region and beyond. The new 32,500-square-foot SRMC Medical Arts Pavilion provides oncology services as well as a woman’s imagining center and OB/GYN care.
The facility is home to the SRMC Cancer Center, Women’s Imaging Center, Tri-Cities OB/GYN Associates and Virginia Cancer Institute. The Women’s Imaging Center includes services such as digital mammography, breast ultrasounds, biopsies of the breast and bone density screening.
The ribbon was cut on the new facility on Friday morning with city officials and leadership at SMRC speaking on the future of the hospital and the expansion of services that are now offered in the Tri-Cities area.
Jerad Hanlon, chief operating officer for SMRC, said the vision that was shared years ago to expand cancer care services became a reality with the building he stood in front of that morning.
“It’s only just been over a year ago that we were here digging some dirt out of the ground for our groundbreaking,” Hanlon said. “... The needs of our community would be better served if comprehensive cancer services were provided under one roof here at the main campus. Today we celebrate that vision as a reality.”
Part of that reality also includes state-of-the-art equipment, as explained by David Penberthy, MD, Radiation Oncologist and Medical Director of the SRMC Cancer Center. Sitting inside the walls of the two-story pavilion is a $4 million linear accelerator and a $1 million CT Scanner, both used for cancer care.
“We have the best equipment available anywhere and it’s right here,” Penberthy said. “And even with all this technology available, cancer care is rooted in human interactions and everybody involved in cancer care plays an important, vital role. Everybody contributes to the patient’s sense of well being.”
One of those people who contributes to cancer care is Samantha Westfall, a radiation therapist. Westfall works with the multi-million linear accelerator, with the only other in the region being located at the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
CAITLIN DAVIS/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Cynthia Hall, lead mammographer at SRMC, demonstrates some of the equipment available at the new women’s imaging center.
“It’s beautiful,” Westfall said of the new facility. “I am so proud to be here ... to see it from there to here and the transformation that’s been made, it’s incredible.”
The transformation of the cancer care began in 2008 when SRMC moved from South Adams Street to Medical Park Boulevard, which is off Wagner Road in Petersburg. Another transformation began again when Rendina Companies began construction of the new facility in late 2012. David Lebenson, chief financial officer for Rendina Companies, said the project was close to the hearts of the company, from the groundbreaking to laying the last brick in the building.
The founder of Rendina Companies, Bruce Rendina lost his battle with brain cancer in December of 2006 with his eldest son, Richard, fighting through his own diagnosis of cancer.
“The Rendina family learned first hand the importance of having access to first class care. It was with that, that it gave us great honor to participate in the construction of this facility here today.”
The cancer care that is provided at SRMC has been nationally recognized. The hospital has received Accreditation with Commendation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer for 2011 through 2014.
Petersburg Mayor Brian Moore said there is one word to describe the opening of the new facility and the expansion of care.
“This center is just more than about Petersburg. It’s about hope,” Moore said. “It’s about giving people a chance to survive. It’s about families sticking together because in the end it’s all about family. When people hear Southside Regional Medical Center, we want them to think of one word, hope.”
Moore brought hope and family into the ceremony on Friday morning as he wore a pink tie in honor of his mother, who fought and survived her battle with cancer.
With the expansion of the services in the Tri-Cities, Penberthy said the hospital will be able to reach more patients in not only the Tri-Cities but perhaps beyond the borders of Virginia.
CAITLIN DAVIS/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT The ribbon is officially cut for the new medical arts pavilion at SRMC. Jerad Hanlon, COO cuts the ribbon.
“This enhances our efforts to improve the lives of each of our patients,” Penberthy said. “I think people will have less desire, less need to travel outside of the Tri-Cities area for their care.”