Video: Radiation Therapy Unit Ribbon Cutting

May 17, 2017 | 10 Comments

[Updated with video] The Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre held a ribbon cutting today [May 17] to celebrate the opening of Bermuda’s first radiation therapy unit.

BCHC said, “In 2014, Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre undertook a review of the gaps in cancer care in Bermuda. The most significant gap, which has been widely experienced by many residents, was the lack of access to radiation treatment for cancer patients. Now in May 2017, Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre has officially closed this gap by opening Bermuda’s first radiation therapy unit.

“Radiation therapy is a significant tool in effectively treating cancer and also in assisting with the management of pain for many cancer patients.

2015. A MOU signed with Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, establishing a partnership between DF/BWCC and BCHC in the development of the Radiation Therapy  Unit.

BCHC Timeline Bermuda May 17 2017 (3) 2

“But because radiation therapy has not been available locally, the only option for patients has been to seek this treatment overseas.

“Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre [BCHC] spearheaded this $10 million dollar initiative, leveraging technology and world-wide connectivity, to make radiation therapy available locally because of the significant benefit it could bring to the community.

“The new facility, located at Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre’s Point Finger Road location, will bring significant benefits to our community and those that are affected by cancer.

“Since 2015, specialists from Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre and Dana-Farber/ Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center have been working together to design, construct and develop a world-class, patient focused facility. . Through this clinical affiliation, BCHC will operate the service, using radiotherapy protocols that adhere to Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center protocols in Boston, and experts from DF/BWCC will be available to advise BCHC clinicians.

2016: BCHC start the construction on Bermuda’s first Radiation Therapy Unit.

BCHC Timeline Bermuda May 17 2017 (4) 2

“We are excited to collaborate with Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre in establishing Bermuda’s first Radiation Treatment facility”, said Daphne Haas-Kogan, MD, chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and professor at Harvard Medical School.

“The mission of providing every Bermuda resident with needed radiation therapy for their cancer has inspired us, and through this affiliation, all cancer patients on the island will have access to expertise from our radiation therapy researchers and clinicians who are at the cutting edge of targeted treatments, leading international clinical trials to discover newer and more effective therapies and pioneering the latest technological innovations.

“It is a privilege to, with all of you at Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre, continue our commitment to helping people maintain and restore their health in both local and global communities.”

2017. Roof Wetting marking the end of the construction phase

BCHC Timeline Bermuda May 17 2017 (1) 2

The construction phase took 9 months to complete and the project was completed on time and within budget.

Executive Director Tara Curtis states, “This is in large part due to the expert teams from the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center project management team, D & J Construction Company Ltd, Linberg & Simmons, Besco along with many sub contactors who have worked diligently on this project of national importance, meeting the critical needs in cancer care for many residents.”

“We have a significant appreciation for the Bermuda Commercial Bank [BCB] who provided the Centre with a competitive bridging loan to ensure the project would not be delayed, giving time to build the funding through our capital campaign.”

BCHC Timeline Bermuda May 17 2017 2 (4)

BCHC said, “With the Radiation Therapy Unit due to begin treatments as early June of this year, BCHC is “a buzz” with activity as they welcome highly trained specialty staff, and finalize the testing of the specialized equipment.

“BCHC has successfully recruited a highly qualified and diverse team of radiation specialists including: a medical physicist, a radiation nurse and a team of radiation therapists including a returning Bermudian.

“Currently over 25 patients are waiting to receive potentially life-saving or pain relief radiation therapy here at home in Bermuda. Patient treatment plans will be designed in collaboration with the team at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and will be administered in Bermuda by our local team led by Dr. Chris Fosker, the Centre’s medical director and clinical oncologist.

BCHC Timeline Bermuda May 17 2017 2 (3)

“Every aspect of Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre’s Radiation Therapy Unit has been designed with the patient in mind; to provide the best clinical outcomes and patient experience” says Dr. Fosker.

“Our patients can find comfort in knowing that we have the best team available to work in Bermuda and we continue to work in clinical affiliation with Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center.” The DF/BWCC is a world leader in cancer research, and was recently ranked 4th in the United States for cancer care by US News and World Report.

BHB Chief Operating Officer, Mr R. Scott Pearman, comments: “We are very pleased to be a part of this important project so that people with cancer in Bermuda can access both chemotherapy and radiation therapy locally.

“Our Diagnostic Imaging department has worked hard with the BCHC team to upgrade our equipment and train for the new CT simulation required to support the radiation therapy service. We are very excited to see such important improvement to cancer care for the island and congratulate BCHC on the successful launch of this much-needed service.”

BCHC Timeline Bermuda May 17 2017 2 (1)

The Bermuda Hospitals Board will also play a significant role in making radiation therapy possible and, through optimization of services, the collaboration provides a very cost effective model of radiation treatment for Bermuda. The first step in providing radiation treatment planning requires the patient to undergo a CT scan.

These image scans are used to map the most effective treatment plan for the patient. The CT scanner at KEMH has additional capacity and through a collaborative agreement BHB and BCHC staff will conduct this initial scan at KEMH which will bring cost saving and significant benefit to the patients.

BCHC Timeline Bermuda May 17 2017 2 (2)

“Radiation therapy is one of the pillars of cancer treatment and an essential component of a comprehensive cancer care pathway. It is recommended for 60-70% of all cancer patients, which translates to approx. 200 people in Bermuda every year,” BCHC said.

“Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre is a Bermuda registered charity #070. Consistent with their charitable purpose, uninsured and underinsured cancer patients who would benefit from receiving radiation will be given equal access to the services at no additional cost to them. For more information visit www.chc.bm.”

The BCHC ‘Radiation Newsletter’ follows below [PDF here]

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Comments (10)

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  1. Nope.
    All that glitters is NOT gold. People need to be alert and assertive concerning treatment in mini Bermuda.

    • rumsoak says:

      You are the same person who started posting as Betty Trump , any relation?

    • Alicia says:

      You do realize that this is being done in conjunction with Dana farber cancer institute, one of th top cancer hospitals in the us, using their doctors to work with ours and their technicians???? In essence it’s a mini satellite clinic of the Dana farber. We should be very happy that we can benefit from this partnership for high level care at home

    • FUI says:

      just another sour puss lost sole with no positive offerings just a big fat MINUS

    • sugraknab says:

      You sure seem to have an axe to grind regarding this development. Perhaps you’d prefer this happening at a politically connected private practice in partnership with a US clinic that’s rated 5th out of 6 in its state?

      Elsewhere (and everywhere) you incessantly bang your drum about STANDING STRONG for BORN BERMUDIANS, yes INDEEDY. But oh ho… in this case “mini bermuda” can’t be trusted to deliver essential treatment in partnership with the 4th RANKED CANCER CENTRE IN THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

      Us born Bermudians and any of our guests who require this potentially life saving therapy now don’t have to put lives on hold and rack up claims for travel and weeks of accommodation overseas for 15-20 minutes of daily treatment.

      There’s no reason not to be positive about that… unless you’re an abhorrent troll

    • serengeti says:

      That assertiveness about the right to treatment in Bermuda without conflicts of interest is playing out right now in the US court system.

    • 2ways says:

      What a really stupid comment. So you think the radiation services at money hungry Lahey are better. Wrong, I can tell you that from experience. Sending Bermudian patients away constantly for procedures that can be performed here also drives up the insurance costs as well. Think before you type.

  2. rumsoak says:

    WTF are you mumbling about?

  3. Lord have mercy says:

    There’s always someone who has to be negative about everything! What a miserable life! I’m happy that we can now receive radiation here in Bermuda… thank you Jesus!

  4. LongBay Trading Inc. says:

    As an ex-cancer radiation patient that had to spend weeks in Boston with Brigham & Womens/Dana Farber for radiation, I can attest first hand what a surperb first class and excellent facility it is. I have every confidence that with their continued oversight and highly trainned and skilled professionals, the Bermuda facility should be just as surperb once all teething issues of any new facility is resolved. Well done to all. We may be small but there is nothing ‘mini’ about Bermuda! We can and do punch well above our weight!

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