East Stroudsburg, Monroe County - Pennsylvania has one of the highest cancer death rates in the nation. Northeastern Pennsylvania has one of the highest cancer death rates in the state. Monroe County's leading cause of death is cancer. So many people hope a new cancer center will help save lives.
The Dale and Frances Hughes Medical Center has opened in East Stroudsburg. It gives cancer patients most of the services they need under one roof.
Lucy Stankovick of East Stroudsburg is one of the first patients to get treatment there. She said it's, "Very bright, very friendly, very soothing."
She has been fighting cancer for years and has seen many hospitals. She said,"This is one of the nicest actual infusion rooms I have been in. Lots of times there are just chairs lined up."
She is also happy the building has a lot of windows. The architects focused on building bright open spaces that look out onto a healing garden. There are natural elements like wood and water in many places. Stankovick said,"Just somewhere to focus rather than a blank wall or just somebody's face that you don't know."
One of the most popular features in the new cancer center. It is a bridge that connects it to Pocono Medical Center. In the past patients who stayed at the hospital and needed to get cancer treatments would have to take an ambulance across the street. Now they can just take the bridge.
Michael Greenberg is the center's Medical Director. He said, "The patients are happier. It's more of a healing type environment."
The center has a new linear accelerator. It is a top of the line digital radiation treatment machine. Medical Physicist Louis Nardella said,"We can target better. We can rely on it being more reliable. And we can actually target something down to less than one millimeter with this machine."
The place cost more than $30 million. Most of it came from donations and grants. Greenberg said, "We thank the community for supporting us. This was quite a project."