Salem hospital planning major expansion

SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Salem Regional Medical Center plans to triple the size of its oncology department to provide better care for cancer patients.

Work is expected to begin in a few weeks, with a completion date set for September 2015. The hospital provided photos of what will be a new entrance, a new infusion room that will include 15 private treatment areas and four private rooms, and an open infusion center designed to be a more social setting for patients.

“Chemotherapy can be a very difficult time for people. We want to be able to help them through that journey with cancer in the most comfortable, compassionate environment that also provides the advanced care they need,” Salem Regional Medical Center President and CEO Dr. Anita Hackstedde said.

The infusion room will allow chemotherapy patients to have visitors during their treatment, but also will provide them with privacy if they don’t want to be with the other patients receiving chemotherapy, according to Pam Mercer, unit director of outpatient services.

“In general, we know that cancer is the second leading killer in the U.S., but in our area, in Columbiana County, we have a high cancer incident rate. So we recognize that there is a tremendous need for more capacity for advanced cancer care, “Hackstedde said.

Hackstedde said the hospital’s current cancer treatment center is about 3,500-square feet and the expansion will make it 12,000-square feet. It also will expand the hospital’s capacity by about 50 percent.

Doctors, nurses and other hospital employees provided input for the project.

“They helped design it. They overlooked the blueprints. They helped us look at work flow. So, they were very much a part of it,” Barb Hirst, vice president of human resources for Salem Regional Medical Center said.

The total project cost is $4.6 million, with plans to expand orthopedic services, as well as the outpatient procedure and pain center. Hospital officials have started a community capital campaign to raise $1.1 million toward the expansion.

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