Renovated Cancer Center a Shining Tribute to Care and Community

Cancer Center Reopen 9.15.16

A Message from Bill James, President of Lexington Medical Center

On Thurs., Sept. 15, 2016, we celebrated the completion of the close to $1 million dollar renovation of our Cancer Center, a transformation that has made the building brighter and more easily accessible to our patients.

As I listened to several speakers and talked with some of the 100 people who turned out, I couldn't be more proud of what this project means to the community and to Lexington Medical Center.

I'd like to share the thoughts of those who attended because their words mean more than I can express.

Burr W. Sullivan, president of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce and a former Lexington Medical Center board member, said that 20 years ago, "we couldn't imagine this level of technology and sophistication being offered to residents of Davidson County."

"It sounds trite when I say the simple words that our community very much appreciates these enhanced services—and the work done by the 17 practices of Wake Forest Baptist on this campus."  

Mr. Sullivan also noted how the community helped pay for some of the renovations with, as he noted, "the wildly successful Sportsmen's Saturday event.'' Proceeds from our 2014 Sportsmen's Saturday went toward the renovations. Other contributions came from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and from our own Lexington Medical Center employees, whose annual campaign paid for new treatment chairs for cancer patients.

Brian Griffin, PA-C, says patients and their families are grateful for the larger rooms in which they receive treatment, including windows that look out on the campus. The treatment chairs have a massage function and are heated, which improves patients' comfort.

I was cheered as Lexington Assistant City Manager Terra Greene credited our tremendous staff, keeping the Medical Center "at the forefront of genuine compassion and resolve for the local community."

Davidson County Commissioner Larry Potts shared that he lost his mother to cancer. He says he is grateful for the Cancer Center in this community. So many people, he says, have or will have family members or friends who will face a cancer diagnosis.

His words couldn't ring truer to Ed Staren,MD, vice president and executive director of cancer services of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center,  a cancer survivor himself. Ed noted that our link to Wake Forest Baptist means that we are part of an academic medical center that provides leading-edge research and access to clinical trials to our patients.

Most important, he says, is our patient-centered approach to care, which respects patient wishes, and always keeps patients and loved ones informed.

Bayard Powell, MD, the section chief of Hematology and Oncology at Wake Forest Baptist's Comprehensive Cancer Center in Winston-Salem, recalled the start of the Cancer Center in Lexington back in 1995. He says the Cancer Center's growth in the years since have helped meet the needs of a growing community. He also considers the 2009 addition of Radiation Oncology adjacent to Hematology and Oncology programs in our Cancer Center to be the start of a "great partnership.''

William Blackstock, MD, chair of Radiation Oncology at Wake Forest Baptist, says having radiation treatment is difficult because the frequency of visits are disruptive for patients and family members. He says when a patient asks about getting their treatment close to home, "it is wonderful when I can say, 'You live in Davidson County? We can make arrangements.'"

This is the essence of our community hospital—providing services right here that offer convenience, comfort and advanced care by a dedicated and compassionate staff.

We're proud of all of the people whose hard work made the Cancer Center renovation happen—especially our design and construction partners in this work,  Little Diversified Architectural Consulting and Landmark Builders of the Triad.

We're also proud of our community's financial contributions to this project. And we hope that our renovated Cancer Center will be a warm and welcoming place for cancer patients and their families who entrust us with their care.