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New floor opens doors

Cancer center now part of Harrington

State Sen. Richard Moore, D-Uxbridge, Center Director Diane Becquart, CEO Ed Moore and COO Doug Crapner talk near the treatment areas of the new chemotherapy floor in the Cancer Center. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
December 06, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — Harrington Hospital's new chemotherapy floor saw its first patients after getting formal verbal approval to open from the state Friday.

The facility is the cancer center's nonprofit side, located on the second floor. The for-profit radiotherapy clinic on the first floor opened in June.

"Ten patients a day is a good target" upstairs, hospital CEO Edward Moore said, noting 15 already use the downstairs for treatment each day. That number will grow over time, as the hospital gradually grows its medical staff to "absorb the cost" of staffing the facility, he added.

Such staffing is likely to be needed for some time.

"I'd love that problem where we don't need to treat cancer anymore, but I think we have a decade or two decades before that happens," he said. "… The incidence of cancer in this community is much higher than the norm. … This community was underserved."

Chief Operating Officer Doug Crapner agreed, citing one key example — the rate of women seeking diagnostic mammography was in the "single digits" before Harrington upgraded its technology, but has jumped "into the 30s" since then.

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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