June 1, 2018 - NMC Health Network’s continuous dedication to elevate the quality, consistency and safety of the services and patient care offered to the people of Deep East Texas has led to the organization’s most recent decision to enhance their Radiation Oncology program at NMC’s Loma Laird Cancer Center with the purchase of a new linear accelerator.
The new equipment will expand access to cutting edge treatment options for patients in Nacogdoches and the surrounding areas with complex cancer diagnoses. Radiation therapy has played a vital role in the treatment of cancer for more than a century and at NMC’s Loma Laird Cancer Center since the doors opened in 1992.
Typically used as a curative treatment either alone or in conjunction with surgery and/or chemotherapy, the aim of radiation therapy has always been to eradicate a patient’s cancer. It has a wide range of uses including as an adjuvant therapy, in which radiation is used after surgery to sterilize a surgical site of residual cancer cells or prior to surgery to reduce the size of a tumor, sterilize the area around a tumor and improve surgical outcomes.
Treatments can also be used in the palliative setting to alleviate symptoms associated with tumors — such as pain and bleeding — in order to improve a patient’s quality of life. As technology has improved and the delivery of radiation has become more precise, cancer specialists are now able to deliver higher doses of radiation more safely, giving radiation therapy an even more important role in cancer care.
“In the past, patients requiring highly precise radiation therapy have had to travel to Dallas or Houston for their treatments but now we can keep them here in our community, close to their family, and under our care.” said Dr. Mary Hebert, Radiation Oncologist and Medical Director of NMC’s Loma Laird Cancer Center.
“This reduces the ﬁnancial and emotional burden on patients and their families, during a time that by nature is already one of the most stressful of their lives.”
NMC shares a passion for providing high quality patient care locally and being a good community partner for all of East Texas. “We recognized a signiﬁcant need to enhance cancer services in our community,” said Mario Estrella, NMC Health Network CNO. “This investment in upgraded, modern technology combined with our quality physicians and staff means you can receive exceptional oncology care right here at home.”
The new equipment and expansion of NMC’s Loma Laird Cancer Center represents an estimated $3.67 million investment in the health of our community. Construction drawings are nearing completion and will go out for bid sometime this month, and NMC hopes to have a contractor chosen by mid-June. The construction timeline is expected to be 3 months, with doors opening and a ribbon cutting planned for the fall of 2018. Since 2014, NMC Health Network has provided more than $23 million in charity care, $70 million in discounts to the uninsured, and $4.8 million in sales and property taxes.
NMC has also invested over $14 million in capital projects, including an $8 million investment in a new ER and Diagnostic Imaging facility built in Shelby County, an expansion of the main campus Emergency Room in Nacogdoches, and new Outpatient Therapy and MedPost locations built in 2016.
“It is a privilege to be able to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of the people we serve, and we will continue to work tirelessly to expand our scope of services in order to meet the needs of the residents of Deep East Texas,” said Chief Executive Ofﬁcer, Philip Koovakada. “This investment in NMC’s Loma Laird Cancer Center is further demonstration of our commitment to the community, to make quality health care readily available to our neighbors and friends.”