Good news in health care

Published 9:17 pm Thursday, September 22, 2011

It’s been a big week for the medical community in Suffolk.

Bon Secours Virginia Health System has received preliminary approval for a plan to build a new facility on its campus in Harbour View to house the radiation therapy services that currently take place at Maryview Medical Center.

The 31,500-square-foot, $10.8 million Bon Secours Cancer Institute at Harbour View would house a radiation therapy center with a CT scanner and a linear accelerator for radiation therapy. It could be ready for opening as early as 2013, according to Bon Secours officials.

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The health care giant also celebrated this week, as one of its local medical administrators prepared to head to Richmond to receive honors as one of the Top 40 Registered Nurses Under 40. Jeff Doucette, the vice president of emergency services for Bon Secours Hampton Roads, and Hannah Anderson, the nursing program coordinator at Thomas Nelson Community College, have both been named to the list. Doucette is based at the Bon Secours location in Harbour View, and Anderson lives in the Bennett’s Creek area of Suffolk.

In selecting the honorees, the Virginia Nurses Foundation looked for nursing leaders who exhibited vision, leadership, innovation, achievement, impact, growth, development and community involvement. It’s a pretty big deal that two such health care professionals were found right here in Suffolk.

Also right here in Suffolk — and making a difference in people’s lives for a long time — is Sentara Obici Hospital. Folks at the hospital, which exists because of the philanthropy of Planters Peanuts founder Amedeo Obici, who left the seed money for the Louise Obici Memorial Hospital in honor of his wife, will celebrate its 60th anniversary today with a low-key staff reception.

Current administrators believe Obici would be pleased with how his vision has grown into a multi-faceted facility with influence that extends throughout the city and beyond its borders.

Studies continue to show that Suffolk lags behind the rest of the state in some important health-related measures. Obesity and diabetes, for example, are health problems that are more prevalent in Suffolk than across the state as a whole.

But this week’s news confirms the care that folks in Suffolk receive from health care providers here continues to improve. Facilities continually advance, and the people who run them continue to get accolades for the level of service they provide.

Suffolk residents have reason to feel a high level of confidence about their health care options right here at home. And there’s plenty of reason for the city’s health care providers to be proud of what they do.

It’s a good thing when the news works out so well.