FirstHealth of the Carolinas broke ground Thursday on a comprehensive cancer center designed to change the face of cancer care in the Sandhills.
The four-story, 120,000-square-foot building is scheduled to open to patients in early 2023.
“Our dream is that this cancer center becomes a hub of cancer care across the Sandhills for decades to come,” said Mickey Foster, FirstHealth chief executive officer. “Today marks an important milestone as we get closer each day to opening the doors of this center. I know it will help us lead the way in cancer treatment and research, and I can’t wait to see how it helps us better achieve our core purpose — To Care for People.”
In addition to state-of-the-art treatment facilities, the new center will house palliative care services, research and clinical trials, navigation and support services for patients and caregivers, nutrition services and a dedicated wellness center. A healing garden outside the building will offer a place for patients and their families to connect and relax.
The construction project is funded in part by The Foundation of FirstHealth’s Building the Dream Campaign. Art Medeiros, Chairman of the Foundation, said Thursday’s groundbreaking couldn’t come soon enough.
“This is a groundbreaking not only on a building, but it is our community’s commitment to a line in the sand that we will fight cancer. I believe we are building a haven of hope, a haven of healing and a haven of help,” he said.
“When we say comprehensive cancer center, we aren’t leaving things out. This facility will allow us to provide top-notch care for our patients and their caretakers.”
Cancer treatment in the new center could involve patients and their caregivers visiting a chapel or taking part in a yoga class. The combination of support services and treatment will improve FirstHealth’s ability to provide comprehensive care and bring it all together under one roof, according to Dan Barnes, D.O., president of FirstHealth Physician Group.
“Bringing all of our services under one roof helps facilitate multidisciplinary clinics, by having providers in the same building it helps us have discussions and provide total comprehensive care for our patients,” he said.
Last week, FirstHealth opened a new parking deck adjacent to the site of the future cancer center. It is open to patients, visitors and staff.
The $68 million cancer center is located across from the FirstHealth campus on Page Road.