Jefferson Regional announced Friday that they are expanding access to local cancer care for residents of Southeast Arkansas by making an $8 million investment to develop a fully integrated Cancer Center to be located on campus in the Professional Center 1 (JCP1) building.
According to a press release from the hospital, construction of the center will be in two phases, the first, an expanded medical oncology clinic with an infusion center capable of treating 27 patients which will open in June. The second phase will be the construction of a radiation oncology clinic that will be completed by the end of the year.
The Cancer Center is the health systems latest investment in building a comprehensive cancer program designed to meet the unique needs of residents in Pine Bluff and throughout Southeast Arkansas.
Arkansas ranks among the states with the highest incidents of new cancer in the U.S. and the Jefferson Regional Cancer Center is a direct result of the organization’s continued commitment to ensuring local residents have access to exceptional cancer care when they need it.
“For many decades, cancer care has been an important part of the services we provide to our region, but it has never been more important than it is today,” Brian Thomas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jefferson Regional said. “As the region’s trusted healthcare provider, we have a responsibility to continually listen and learn as the needs of our patients grow and evolve. With this recent investment, all of our cancer care services will now be conveniently located under one roof and with one person in mind – the patient. Jefferson Regional provides southeast Arkansas with the largest physician network, consisting of more than 70 providers and 20 specialties, ready to meet the needs of patients with cancer. Furthermore, Jefferson Regional’s network of specialists are right here in the region, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Competition from Little Rock simply cannot compare because they have to transfer patients out of the region for such specialty care.”
The Jefferson Regional Cancer Center will offer seamless access to services including physician visits, an infusion center, a Breast Center, imaging services, radiation oncology, care coordination and financial navigation. Through the new Cancer Center, Jefferson Regional will be able to coordinate care more easily for patients – from screening and diagnosis to therapy and beyond.
“This is an exciting step forward for Jefferson Regional and the patients we serve,” Dr. Asif Masood, Hematologist/Oncologist said. “Having cancer is just as stressful mentally as it is physically. Our goal is to reduce the burden by having a central location for all cancer care. We want our patients to focus their time on healing, not navigating their care. The Jefferson Regional Cancer Center will help us achieve that goal.”
Chief Medical Officer Reid Pierce, M.D., said the new Cancer Center will elevate Jefferson Regional’s already strong cancer program and the work of the existing comprehensive cancer team. “In addition to our physicians who specialize in cancer care, we are fortunate to also have an experienced group of surgeons and other specialists who help treat cancer patients. Because the Cancer Center is supported by the health system, our doctors share information via electronic medical records. This allow complete patient information to be available to doctors who care for the patient. Jefferson Regional is here for our community – no matter the day or night – and our patient can always get the care they need, when they need it.”
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