Cancer center approved for Harbour View

Published 10:23 pm Friday, June 1, 2012

Bon Secours Virginia Health System plans to break ground on a comprehensive new cancer center in Harbour View 12 months from now after receiving long-awaited regulatory approval.

Construction would get under way in one year after the state health commissioner issued a certificate of public need, Bon Secours Hampton Roads Administrative Director for Oncology Services Leeanne Sciolto confirmed.

She said the expected build time is 18-24 months.

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Plans for the 31,500-square foot, $10.8 million Bon Secours Cancer Institute at Harbour View include a radiation therapy center with a CT scanner and a linear accelerator for radiation therapy.

Sciolto described a buzz in the air about the new facility, both in the medical community and generally.

“We have huge support from the patients, and from the physicians and just from the community,” Sciolto said. “We’re excited to be bringing this project to the North Suffolk and western Hampton Roads area.

“It’s going to be co-located with so many other (medical) services in that Hampton Roads campus. It really just fits in nicely, and the community has really just recognized the strength of that Harbour View campus.”

The Virginia Department of Health recommended conditional approval of the project in September after concerns about accessibility for patients using public transportation, which prompted an earlier denial, had been addressed.

“I believe there were some concerns about public transportation, and we had addressed that when we filed for the COPN again,” Bon Secours Media Relations Director Lynne Zultanky said.

The new location is more central for patients and physicians, she said. “We are moving the treatment facility to the point where the population and the physicians are going.”

Under the COPN approval, Bon Secours Hampton Roads is required to provide 4 percent of its gross patient services revenues to patients who are uninsured or whose income is at or below twice the national poverty level.

Meanwhile, ground has been broken on an $8 million addition to the Martha W. Davis Cancer Center at Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center.

Included is the installation of a Varian linear accelerator, a radiation therapy unit, Zultanky wrote in an email.

The additions would also incorporate a 16-slice, wide-boar CT simulator scanner, used in the planning of cancer treatments.