GLEN DALE — The opening of the WVU Cancer Institute at WVU Medicine-Reynolds Memorial Hospital brings “world-class cancer care” to Marshall County, officials said Friday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new facility.
The center will begin treating patients on Nov. 27. Community tours of the building will be offered from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.
Calling the facility’s opening “a momentous occasion,” Dr. David Hess, president and CEO of Reynolds Memorial Hospital, said, “It really catapults our hospital into the most advanced treatment ever seen on this campus. It will be a benchmark for cancer care in this region.”
Dr. Richard Goldberg, director of the WVU Cancer Institute, said the ability to receive treatment close to home will make “a less daunting journey” for cancer patients. He said patients at the regional center will have access to clinical trials and can have their cases reviewed by “tumor boards” composed of physicians who work together to determine the best plan of treatment.
Goldberg, who joined West Virginia University nine months ago, said the institute’s main center in Morgantown served more than 4,000 new patients with 20 different types of cancer in 2016. The majority of those patients came from other areas of the state, he said.
The WVU Cancer Institute seeks to expand cancer knowledge through research, make care accessible to more people and build a network of regional centers, Goldberg said.
The Glen Dale site joins cancer centers in Morgantown, Martinsburg, Parkersburg, Fairmont, Elkins and in Oakland, Md.
Hess and Goldberg welcomed the new center’s medical director, Dr. Nabiel Alkhouri, who promised the facility will help the community and provide compassionate, advanced care. Noting the sunny skies Friday, Alkhouri said, “This center is going to be the sun for the patients I am honored to serve in this region.”
Albert L. Wright Jr., president and CEO of West Virginia University Health System, said officials set out a vision about a year ago to develop the specialized center in Glen Dale. Looking at the finished product, he said, “This place is perfect, and it’s going to be excellent.”
Dr. Clay Marsh, vice president and executive dean for WVU Health Sciences, said the institute will bring higher-quality care to the community and will encourage cancer prevention. At WVU, he said, “We want to do anything we can to build healthier communities.”
The 3,606-square-foot clinic has two exam rooms, seven infusion rooms, a central nurses’ station, offices and a consultation and resource room. The center will provide diagnostic and consultative evaluation, including mammography; intravenous and chemotherapy infusion; laboratory services and access to radiation oncology to people in the Northern Panhandle.
The Rt. Rev. W. Michie Klusmeyer, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia and honorary chairman of Reynolds’ board, gave an opening prayer at the ceremony. Bernard Twigg, board chairman, welcomed guests to the event.
During the festivities, Hess accepted cancer-care donations of $2,600.50 from the Hilltop Huskies championship flag football team and $3,000 from the Lupe Hewitt Memorial Golf Scramble.
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