Four years ago, when Lawrence + Memorial Hospital President Bruce Cummings went to speak to the Dana Farber Institute about forming a partnership, Bill Stanley and the rest of the L & M staff thought he was dreaming.
Well, four years later, Cummings proved dreams come true. On Thursday, amid some sweltering heat, L + M broke ground on a new cancer center with Dana Farber at its side, which will be the only cancer center in Connecticut that can call the renowned Boston-based hospital a partner.
“This has been the most enjoyable planning experience we’ve ever been through in our network history,” said Dr. Andrew Norden, the medical director of satellites and network affiliates for the Dana-Farber Institute. “And the reason for that is from the beginning, there was a tremendous and obvious alignment of our visions of cancer care. Together we plan to provide the highest level of cancer care anywhere, and much of that can be delivered right here in their home town.”
“On a personal note, it is probably the highlight of my professional career,” Cummings told a room full of government officials and businesses higher-ups at the groundbreaking ceremony in .
The center is expected to open in September of 2013.
About The Shelter
is 48,000 square feet and will employ 30 people. Along with Dana Farber, L + M teamed will team with Dr. Richard Hellman’s Oncology & Hematology Associates of New London and will extend its relationship with Yale Medical School on radiology at the center.
The center will sit on a 100-acre property on Parkway South, with workers already clearing 10 acres of trees this month to get the property set for construction. It will be a two-story building with three parking lots, two for patients and one for employees, and the center will be strictly an out-patient center with no overnight rooms.
L + M currently sends many patients to the Dana Farber Institute in Boston for treatment, and this center will greatly curtail the number of people who have to go to another state for care, Norden said. However, in certain extreme cases patients will still be sent to Dana Farber’s Boston-based center, Norden said.
The construction of the center , a Boston-based firm, and the architect for the property is TRO Jung|Brannen, another Boston-based company. L + M is shooting for the center to earn a silver LEED certification, potentially becoming the first health care facility in Connecticut to earn that environmental standard, according to L + M Vice President Crista Durand.
How People Feel About It
All eight speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony praised the new cancer center, saying it would be a huge benefit for the area and all of Connecticut to have a Dana Farber cancer institute in Waterford. Ulysses Hammond, L + M’s chairman of the board and a cancer survivor, called the new center “exciting.”
“The Dana Farber name is known throughout the world for providing cancer care that is second to none,” Hammond said. “That isn’t about hype of even clever marketing, ladies and gentleman, it’s about quality and results.”
Waterford Selectman Dan Steward agreed, saying the cancer center is a “nucleus” that will bring more medical offices to the area.
“It is a nucleus that will provides us with other facilities out here as this property grows,” he said. “And that is really what this helps all of us do, so that we can better care for the community we all serve."