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WellSpan announces $45 million expansion at York cancer treatment center

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

WellSpan Health announced a plan this week to bring several oncology services under one roof in a soon-to-be expanded cancer treatment center.

In a news conference held Monday, Jan. 28, at Apple Hill Medical Center in York Township, Roxanna Gapstur, president and CEO of WellSpan Health, said that York County deserves a sophisticated center for cancer care.

"Coupled with the skill of our physicians and the power of our relationship with the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, this facility will positively impact thousands of our friends and neighbors who live with cancer," Gapstur said.

WellSpan Health president and CEO Roxanna Gapstur speaks to the media after a press conference at Apple Hill Medical Center announcing a $45 million expansion to the WellSpan York Cancer Center Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Bill Kalina photo

About 67,100 square feet will be added to the York WellSpan Cancer Center in the expansion, which will cost an estimated $45 million.

Groundbreaking  is expected to take place  late summer or early fall, and WellSpan leaders anticipate the project will be finished by early 2021.

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The services to be consolidated in the expanded treatment center include radiation oncology, outpatient services, pharmacy, clinical trials and social work.

Holistic care: But the expansion is not limited to strictly medical services.

In order to offer a holistic care experience, the new center will offer massage therapy and yoga through the WellSpan Center for Mind/Body Health. There also will be classroom space for support groups and community education classes as well as other therapeutic offerings.

The center also will feature a personal appearance boutique for patients undergoing treatment.

WellSpan Health Vice President of Oncology and Surgical Services Douglas Arbittier speaks along with president and CEO Roxanna Gapstur during a press conference at Apple Hill Medical Center announcing a $45 million expansion to the WellSpan York Cancer Center Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Bill Kalina photo

Dr. Douglas Arbittier, vice president of oncology and surgical services at WellSpan Health, said the overall goal of the expansion is to provide ease of access and coordination of care for patients.

Currently, patients must navigate among several buildings for  the myriad procedures and services that make up their treatment plans, Arbittier said.

Under the new plan, every necessary cancer-treatment service will be provided in the same building, lifting a significant burden from the shoulders of patients.

"What we’re trying to do is take a complex and scary journey through cancer treatment and simplify it for our patients," Arbittier said.

As for the additional services to be offered, such as yoga, massage therapy, pastoral care and the appearance center and boutique, Arbittier said it's important to address the patients' psychosocial needs.

"There’s a lot more to treating cancer than infusing chemo drugs or shooting a laser beam at it," he said. "You have to take care of the whole patient."