EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Expert cancer care is now in the backyard of Effingham County residents, as Effingham Health System partners with Savannah-based Summit Cancer Care.
The hospital system held a ribbon cutting Tuesday and talked to us about the benefits to come.
Proximity will be one of the biggest impacts. For instance, those needing chemo treatments typically travel to Savannah. That's roughly two hours round trip in the car.
For a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy, two hours can be a grueling trip.
"I remember my very first treatment that I had. I was pretty sick going back down two days after I had my treatment, because I was so dehydrated," said Joyce Alderman.
As a cancer survivor and wife of Springfield's mayor, Alderman recognizes the benefits for all in the surrounding area battling cancer.
"It's a wonderful day for Effingham that this has come," Alderman said.
Emmie Lindsey came to today's ribbon cutting to get a look at the new center, one she wishes was around when she endured seven chemo treatments to beat her cancer.
"Oh, it would have been very good to have had this, very good to have had this at that time. Sure would have," said Lindsey.
In addition to oncology and hematology services, the center has its own specialized chemotherapy pharmacy.
Dr. Ali Spellman, an oncologist and hematologist, said, "It's a huge part. That's where we do all of our mixing to be able to offer chemotherapy as well as immunotherapy, which is one of the new treatments we've been using for most tissue types."
For now, the Cancer Care Center at Effingham Health System will offer treatment on Friday's, but hospital leaders say they are looking at adding an additional day as more patients come in.
"Today is a hallmark day. It aligns with Effingham's transformational journey, our journey to become more innovative and collaborative, and to deliver quality care to the community that we serve," said Effingham Health System CEO Fran Baker-Witt.
Call 912.754.2560 for a tour of the new facility.