KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The University of Tennessee Medical Center officially opened its new Cancer Institute Tuesday at a ceremony attended by hundreds of patients, physicians, staff and community leaders. At 108,000 square-feet, the new building nearly triples the size of the medical center's previous cancer care facility. The growth is in response to the increase in cancer cases treated at the medical center as well as the projected rise in new cancer cases in the next two decades.
"We believe the new Cancer Institute represents the evolution of care and provides the best possible healing environment for our patients and their families facing a cancer diagnosis," said Joe Landsman, President and CEO of The University of Tennessee Medical Center. "Our patients and their families joined our dedicated and highly trained physicians, nurses and staff of the Cancer Institute in the planning of the building. As a result, we've incorporated elements of design and functionality that are important to those receiving and delivering care."
Construction of the $23 million facility took about a year to complete. The new center brings the full scope of the medical center's outpatient cancer treatment capabilities under one roof, thus making access to care during the cancer journey more convenient for patients and their family members, said Dr. John L. Bell, director of The University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute.
A major component of the new facility is the move of the Radiation Oncology Department to the building, planned for completion in early 2013, which includes the medical center's CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery System and linear accelerators. The new building also contains the Cancer Institute's Breast Center, an imaging center, treatment and chemotherapy areas, a café, a boutique, a laboratory, clinical offices, conference rooms for staff and community support groups and space for supportive integrative health services such as acupuncture and massage therapy.
The new facility will be a hub for cancer research for physicians and researchers at The University of Tennessee Medical Center and UT Graduate School of Medicine. The research and clinical trials area will continue to offer studies for cancers such as breast, prostate, colorectal, lung, pancreas, melanoma, hepato-biliary and others.
"At the new Cancer Institute, we are making treatment more convenient and comfortable for our patients and their families," Bell said. "We have added more board certified specialists than any other facility in the region. We're providing research opportunities addressing cancer prevention, risk-reduction strategies, educational opportunities and the most modern treatment options available for cancer. We do this to improve the care and outcomes for our patients and their families. There is a projected 45% increase in new cancer cases nationally in the next 20 years. That statistic, coupled with the medical center's increase in patient volumes, prompted us to build the largest and most comprehensive facility in the region that's dedicated to the education, research and care of all aspects of cancer."
The mission of The University of Tennessee Medical Center, the region's only hospital to achieve status as a Magnet® recognized organization, is to serve through healing, education and discovery. UT Medical Center, a 581-bed, not-for-profit academic medical center, serves as a referral center for Eastern Tennessee, Southeast Kentucky and Western North Carolina. The medical center, the region's only Level I Trauma Center, is one of the largest employers in Knoxville. For more information about The University of Tennessee Medical Center, visit online at http://www.utmedicalcenter.org.
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CONTACT: Jim Ragonese Public Relations Operations The University of Tennessee Medical Center (865) 305-6845 firstname.lastname@example.org
Source:The University of Tennessee Medical Center