MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena Celebrates Remodel and Expansion of Cancer Center
On Tuesday, Oct. 24, MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena hosted an open house to celebrate the recent remodel and expansion of its Cancer Center. Guests were able to view the newly expanded infusion area, the warm and inviting upgrades to the patient care areas, as well as new state-of-the-art cancer fighting technology, including the Siemen’s Somatom Confidence® RT Pro CT Scanner and the TrueBeam Radiotherapy System. Both of these innovative systems enable a radically different approach to treating cancer, bringing more hope to area residents.
“MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena was the first in the nation to receive Siemen’s new CT Scanner for radiation therapy,” said Doug Kreis, director of Alpena’s Diagnostic Imaging and Oncology Services. “This new technology provides precise images giving providers the most accurate information to formulate a cancer treatment plan. Additionally, our new TrueBeam Radiotherapy System makes it possible to deliver treatments more quickly while monitoring and compensating for tumor motion, opening the door to new possibilities for the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, as well as other cancers that are treatable with radiotherapy. It will enable us to treat even the most challenging cancer cases with unprecedented speed and precision.”
With dose delivery rates that are 40 – 140 percent higher than earlier generations of Varian technology, the TrueBeam system can complete a treatment comparably faster. This makes it possible to offer greater patient comfort by shortening treatments, and to improve precision by leaving less time for tumor motion during dose delivery. “Intelligent” automation further speeds treatments with an up to fivefold reduction in the number of steps needed for image guidance and dose delivery.
“Simple treatments that once took 15 minutes or more can be completed in less than two minutes once the patient is in position,” said Radiation Oncologist Mario Lacerna, M.D. “This means that our patients will spend a lot less time having to lie still, immobilized on a hard surface. We are very excited to bring this new, state-of-the-art generation of linear accelerator to northern Michigan. It represents a significant leap forward in our ability to help people fight cancer in our community.”
In attendance at the event included, from left to right, Vice President of Nursing Chuck Sherwin, MidMichigan Medical Center - Alpena; Senior Administrative Manager Sue Merkel, Radiation Oncology, Michigan Medicine; Director of Community Practices and Capital Projects Kathy Lash, Radiation Oncology, Michigan Medicine; Radiation Oncologist Mario Lacerna, M.D., MidMichigan Medical Center - Alpena; Radiation Oncology Manager Courtney Friedle, MidMichigan Health; and Chief Department Administrator Don Tomford, Radiation Oncology, Michigan Medicine.