Mercy Medical Center Press Release:
REDDING, Calif. – Mercy Medical Center Redding (MMCR) opened a new Outpatient Chemotherapy Department inside of the Mercy Regional Cancer Center on May 10, 2010.
With a view of Mt. Shasta to the North, the new treatment center is designed with a healing environment in mind. The new area is conveniently located one floor above the Floyd Morgan Family Cancer Resource Center on the North side of the MMCR campus and allows chemotherapy patients to enter the Hospital through a separate entrance. The new location allows for closer parking, increased privacy, a dedicated family waiting room, expanded capacity and most importantly an environment that will help patients heal.
“We remodeled this space with the chemotherapy patient in mind,” said MMCR’s Vice President of Service Lines Jennifer Brooke. “Moving from the Ida Emmerson Oncology Unit on the first floor to the new location provides better access for the patients. We have the most comprehensive Cancer Center in the area and are committed to continually improving the offering of evidence-based cancer services to our community,” she said.
Cancer patients, when receiving chemotherapy, undergo multiple treatments over a course of time, often spending hours in a chair receiving life-saving medicine under the direct supervision of cancer nurses. Chemotherapy essentially destroys the cells of the body, thereby allowing the body to rebuild its cells cancer free.
When receiving chemotherapy, patients can pass the time watching television, playing games, talking with others or quietly contemplating life’s issues. Radiation Oncologist Rodney Rodriquez, MD, is a cancer survivor in addition to being a cancer physician. During his chemotherapy treatments, he was able to see outdoors and focus on the world around him. “Being able to look outside rather then looking at walls made my experience better. I remember receiving treatment and staring at a tree. The life in that tree gave me hope,” he said.
The physiological and physical impact of cancer treatment can take quite a toll on the human body and spirit, but being treated in a bright and colorful environment helps the healing process, according to Dr. Rodriquez.
Mercy Regional Cancer Center Medical Director Ajay Verma, MD, is also pleased the community has access to this new center for chemotherapy services. “We are responding to an increased need in our region for this type of service,” he said. The larger space features four additional treatment areas. “The facility is staffed with trained and certified oncology nurses that have the experience to respond to the needs of all community-based physicians to serve their patients,” said Dr. Verma.
“This is a dream come true,” said Outpatient Chemotherapy Lead Nurse Shar Washburn, RN. “Our patients are at the heart of what we do and this amazing new space is a blessing,” she said. “We have sunshine coming into the new area. Having this openness gives hope to our patients and helps enhance the healing process.”
“Our patients also provided input as we developed the new Center,” adds Peggy Manning, Director of Oncology Services.
Dr. Rodriquez summarizes the chemotherapy experience well. He said, “When you come to a hospital (for chemotherapy), you don’t want to be reminded you are in a hospital. To see something beautiful makes the patient experience so much easier. Seeing the sunshine makes coming back not so bad.”