NMC Health Network Announces Plans to Enhance Cancer Program Services

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.”