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10 to watch 2020: Wallace Cancer Institute

Last year, Novant Health began construction on the Wallace Cancer Institute, the newest addition to their services.

The institute aims to bring all of Novant’s cancer treatment services together under one roof. Currently, patients seeking treatment must travel between several offices located around the county.

“When cancer treatment services are spread out it adds stress to patients who may not always be feeling their best,” said Rowan Medical Center Foundation Executive Director Rick Parker. “Bringing all of the services together will give the gift of time back to patients. Patients will be able to spend more time with friends and family during their treatment.”

When the Wallace Cancer Institute opens later this year, in August, it will have all of Novant’s existing cancer treatment services as well as a new, state-of-the-art, linear accelerator to more effectively kill cancer cells and new cancer support services including “look good-feel good” programs.

“The Look Good-Feel Good Boutique will carry wigs and other items for patients as well as hosting beauty events,” Parker said. “(The boutique) will have events where patients can do things like get manicures or make jewelry.”

Parker said he believes that this new facility will benefit Rowan County by providing treatment closer to home for the people of this community.

“Americans with cancer have long sought out centers in larger cities, but as cancer care has become more personal a desire for local care has emerged,” Parker said. ” ‘How can we make this easy for patients?’ is something we value at Novant Health.”

The Wallace Cancer Institute will not only benefit patients with new services and a convenient location; the facility itself was designed to make cancer care easier, he said.

“We have [both] oncologists and cancer patients as designers for this building,” he said. “The 20 infusion rooms will all have floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the Hurley Healing Garden. Chemo therapy infusions can sometimes take up to six hours for treatment and in that time its nice to have something to look at other than the walls and ceiling.”

The Wallace Cancer Institute is built to serve patients from Rowan and the five surrounding counties. With Rowan County’s access to the interstate and other highways, Parker expects the facility to serve patients from a large area.

“With 1,200 individual donors…this is really the community’s cancer center and we hope to give back to the community,” Parker said.

The Wallace Cancer Institute is expected to complete construction in July and open in August. All Novant Health cancer treatment services in Rowan County will be moved to the institute on its opening day.

Q&A

Biggest Challenge in 2019: “Managing the expectations of patients and their families for excellent care in a home setting”

What should the Rowan County community focus on in the new year?: “Developing healthy lifestyles. You only live once so you’ve got to take care of your body”

Who will you be watching in 2020?: “Whoever becomes the new chief operating officer of Rowan Medical Center to see how they lead into a new decade.”

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