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Articles / 2011

CMH to celebrate opening of cancer center

Ventura County Star
Friday, 02/22/2011
by Joshua Molina

Community Memorial Hospital on Thursday will celebrate the new Coastal Communities Cancer Center, which opened in November as the Ventura hospital upgrades and expands.

The $8 million center is part of CMH's plan to complete a $320 million makeover that is expected to be finished by 2014.

"We have an opportunity to have a much more collaborative cancer center under one roof," said Dr. Thomas Fogel, a radiation oncologist at Cabrillo Radiation Oncology, one of the tenants already inside the building. "We have been talking about this in the community for a long time."

The facility offers oncology and hematology services, with new radiation, scanning and imaging equipment. It also is home to the Cancer Resource Center, a place for cancer patients and their families to seek support. Hospital officials also plan to include an art gallery, ideally to highlight cancer survivors.

"It really provides that emotional support that is needed not only for the patients but the families," said Michael Ellingson, vice president of marketing and development for Community Memorial Health System.

"As people go through a cancer diagnosis and start to deal with it, it is a very emotional thing. All of a sudden they are thrust into this emotional roller coaster," he said. But the concentration of doctors makes the ordeal easier, he said.
"Treating cancer is kind of a team treatment," Ellingson said. "You don't have just one specialist."

More than 3,300 people in Ventura County will be diagnosed with cancer in 2011, according to the American Cancer Society.

The two-story, 23,000-square-foot cancer center is across the street from the current hospital, at Loma Vista Road and North Brent Street in Ventura.

When the effort to build CMH was launched in the 1960s, supporters purchased land across the street, which was occupied by several medical offices. Officials eventually decided the location also would be an ideal spot for a cancer center. Crews began construction in December 2009.

Fogel said many patients won't have to go to UCLA anymore. "Under one roof, we offer most everything one person would need," he said.