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McKay-Dee Hospital unveils expanded cancer care center

By Jamie Lampros - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Mar 7, 2024
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Pharmacist James Howton works in the new cancer center at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden. The cancer center opened Thursday, March 7, 2024.
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From left, Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital President Judy Williamson, Jennifer N., Gaylene Greener, Jennifer Lucas, Dr. Eric Johnson , Andie Scholl and Betsy Artis participate in a bell-ringing ceremony Thursday, March 7, 2024, to celebrate the opening of a new cancer center.
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Technician Daryn Ashby operates a linear accelerator in the new cancer center at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden. The cancer center opened Thursday, March 7, 2024.
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Signage outside Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital promotes a new cancer center, which opened Thursday, March 7, 2024.
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The new cancer center at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden opened Thursday, March 7, 2024.
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Kelly Manore checks chemotherapy infusion equipment in the new cancer center at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden. The cancer center opened Thursday, March 7, 2024.

OGDEN — Patients and medical personnel on Thursday rang a ceremonial bell to usher in a new era of expanded cancer treatment at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital.

The new state-of-the-art cancer center, which is the largest renovation project at the hospital since opening at its current location in 2002, takes up much of the first floor for patients to easily access. The new center will allow Northern Utah cancer patients an opportunity to be treated closer to home.

“As part of Intermountain Health’s comprehensive network of cancer services, this new center will help a lot of people here in Ogden and Northern Utah,” said Dr. Eric Johnson, medical oncologist for Intermountain Health. “This facility stands as a testament to our commitment to providing convenient cancer care closer to home.”

The center has increased its infusion bays from eight to 12 and chemotherapy infusion bays from 16 to 24. A new linear accelerator, a machine that aims radiation at cancer tumors with pinpoint accuracy, has been added as well as a compounding pharmacy, which is now located adjacent to the infusion bays.

“The cancer center is designed to empower its patients and bring a feeling of home and hope no matter their treatment setting,” said Judy Williamson, president of Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital. “We hope it will be a home where friends can strengthen and support one another during their cancer journey and bring people together in a fight to overcome cancer.”

The center provides all five pillars of cancer, including diagnoses, treatment, prevention and screenings, research and survivorship. The gold bell used in the opening ceremony Thursday also serves as a triumph celebration of patient accomplishment.

Treatment services at the center include cancer immunotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy, biotherapy, radiation therapy, genetic counseling, genomic tumor sequencing, oncology social work, palliative and symptom management, nutrition services, speech therapy, fitness training and functional physical training.

“When you come here every week, you want it to feel homey and look beautiful, not so chemical,” said colon cancer patient Gaylene Greener. “The new space has artwork, comfortable chairs, social spaces for privacy, as well as the doctors nearby.”

Greener, 65, said the center is a healing place where she feels loved and cared for and not a burden. She said it’s like a home away from home.

Jennifer N., a breast cancer patient who did not want her last name printed, said even though she lives 300 miles away in Lander, Wyoming, she wants to continue her cancer treatment at McKay-Dee Hospital.

“These are hallowed halls,” she said.

According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is the most commonly treated cancer in Utah women and prostate cancer is the most commonly treated cancer in men. Skin cancer, specifically melanoma, is the most common form of cancer for both sexes.

The cancer center was made possible by donations, including over $4 million in gifts and donations to the Intermountain Foundation.


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