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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UMC opens new cancer treatment center

    The Arizona Cancer Center at UMC North now houses the Peter and Paula Fasseas Cancer Clinic, which provides patients with a supportive environment while they undergo cancer treatment. More than 16 acres of UMC North are slotted for cancer-specific clinics in the future.
    The Arizona Cancer Center at UMC North now houses the Peter and Paula Fasseas Cancer Clinic, which provides patients with a supportive environment while they undergo cancer treatment. More than 16 acres of UMC North are slotted for cancer-specific clinics in the future.

    The new Peter and Paula Fasseas Cancer Clinic, a collaboration between the University Medical Center and Arizona Cancer Center, celebrated its grand opening and dedication Sunday night with more than 1,500 people in attendance.

    The center’s purpose is to create an encouraging atmosphere for patients and give them some commodities they would not have in a traditional hospital.

    “”The basic premise is to provide an environment of support for cancer patients and their families,”” said Karen Mlawsky, UMC vice president for oncology services. “”The ‘C-word’ is not a death word anymore.””

    The Cancer Clinic in the Arizona Cancer Center at UMC North, 3838 N. Campbell Ave., opened to patients Jan. 8, but the formal grand opening and dedication to the Fasseas family happened Sunday night.

    A generous donation by Peter and Paula Fasseas to the UA Foundation helped fund the construction of the new center.

    “”What a mouthful,”” said Dr. David Alberts, director of the Arizona Cancer Center, of the center’s long name. “”But that’s what it takes – a community emphasis, like the Fasseas family, together with one of the top 20 cancer centers in the country and the dedication of the health care center like UMC to make this all possible.””

    The Cancer Clinic is a modern outpatient cancer treatment center that accommodates many stages of a cancer patient’s journey.

    “”I think the best part for our cancer patients is that they are treated in a dignified and private environment and that they know it’s not just the best physical cancer care, but also the most ultra-modern,”” Alberts said.

    The center’s architecture and decor were designed to feel more inviting than a traditional hospital with white floors and white walls.

    The lobby area on the first floor is large and spacious, giving family and friends of patients ample space so they don’t feel cramped or uncomfortable, Mlawsky said.

    Also on the first floor is a boutique, complete with a Gadabout salon where stylists donate their time to help cancer patients cut their hair or get wigs in a private and comfortable salon-like setting.

    Sunstone Cancer Support Centers, a nonprofit organization servicing cancer patients, has installed a first-floor spot with areas for yoga, acupuncture and massages for patients.

    “”I believe so strongly that the patient should be at the center of their care, treated with loving dignity and protected privacy,”” Alberts said.

    The second floor of the clinic is where patients receive infusion treatments, or chemotherapy. There are single private rooms and group rooms where patients can sit together, and sometimes patients become great friends, Mlawsky said.

    “”In the open (infusion) rooms you see lots of camaraderie,”” Mlawsky said. “”This is an important therapeutic time for (the patients).””

    The Fasseas Cancer Clinic is just the beginning of the campus at UMC North, where there are over 16 acres that will be used for more cancer-specific clinics in the future.

    A radiation and oncology center is in the planning stages, and Mlawsky said they hope it will be in the building phase within nine months.

    “”This way, the patient can be here for all of their services, from MRIs to infusion to radiation,”” Mlawsky said.

    All of the clinic’s doctors, nurses and volunteers were relocated from other UMC locations. Many volunteers are UA students or alumni.

    “”The thing that’s infectious here is the passion our staff has for taking care of people,”” Mlawsky said.

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