The grand opening of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at UPMC Somerset, which is located at 314 South Kimberly Ave. in Somerset, was held last evening. The Somerset community now has access to world-class cancer care close to home backed by leading research, best practices and leading-edge protocols. UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is the region’s only Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute and one of just 52 such centers nationwide.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death nationally and in Pennsylvania. Care for chronic disease management, including cancer, is a consistent “significant health need” in Somerset County according to UPMC’s Community Health Needs Assessments.
“The UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is built on the concept of bringing cancer treatment to the communities where patients live,” said Beth Wild, president, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. “Many cancer treatments require multiple visits over several weeks or months, so it’s important that patients have access to high-quality cancer care without having to travel long distances.”
The state-of-the-art facility, which was a $4 million capital investment, features an enlarged treatment area with nine treatment spaces and four exam rooms, and onsite laboratory services.
“Our new center is designed to produce an exceptional experience for our patients,” said Stephanie Dutton, chief operating officer, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. “We’ve prioritized creating a calm, healing environment with privacy and comfort in mind.”
The Somerset location offers medical oncology services while radiation oncology will continue to be regionally centralized at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at John P. Murtha Pavilion in Johnstown. Transportation is available to ensure that patients can receive their radiation treatments in Johnstown.
“UPMC is always examining how to best deliver highly specialized services,” added Dutton. “The centralization of radiation oncology aligns with our vision to redesign health care services for the region to pool together UPMC’s high quality resources – our talented people, best in class technologies, and modernized facilities – to improve care and deliver highly reliable services for years to come.”
All patients receiving care at any UPMC Hillman Cancer Center facility also have access to groundbreaking cancer research and access to more than 600 clinical trials that are underway at UPMC Hillman and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
“These cutting-edge clinical trials and cancer research can be coordinated with oncologists and patients at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at Somerset and at any of the more than 70 different cancer center locations within the Hillman network,” said Rushir Choksi, MD, assistant medical director of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Network.
“UPMC is continually enhancing services in the Somerset community to ensure the latest technologies, equipment and procedures are available locally,” said Andy Rush, president, UPMC Somerset. “We are thrilled to finally be able to say that we deliver UPMC Hillman’s world-class cancer care right here.”