Southampton Cancer Center Opening

Richard Lewin
Officials and well-wishers, including, from left to right, Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Ken Wright, Robert Chaloner, Barbara Phillips, Andrew Phillips, Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, Dr. Yusuf Hannun, and Dr. Samuel Ryu took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Phillips Family Cancer Center in Southampton on Thursday, April 25.

The Phillips Family Cancer Center will not only provide top-of-the-line radiation therapy, but significantly cut travel time for those on the East End in need of treatment.

The fully integrated site of Southampton’s Stony Brook University Cancer Center opens this month and boasts the latest technology, including the only linear accelerator on the East End, a Varian Linear Accelerator TrueBeam, which delivers more precise targeting of cancer cells during radiation therapy, sparing healthy surrounding tissue. Every chemotherapy treatment is formulated in the on-site pharmacy within the two-level, patient-centered building and healing environment at 740 County Road 39A, which will also offer medical oncology in August.

“Our cutting-edge cancer center offers fresh hope and much-needed convenience to our community,” said Kenneth Wright, chairman of the Southampton Hospital Association. at a ribbon-cutting on Thursday, April 25. “Now, East End patients, their families, and caregivers have world-class cancer care right here, close to home.”

A full-time oncology social worker is available for counseling at the Fighting Chance annex office, which is located at the center. Fighting Chance provides information and aid to patients and caregivers. The center will also partner with the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, which donates funds and provides support services, and The Ed & Phyllis Davis Wellness Institute, which offers wellness courses. A large multi-purpose conference room will host community outreach programs and patient support ones like yoga, meditation, and group therapy.

“We are committed to providing the East End with advanced cancer care, including admission to clinical trials,” said Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, senior vice president for health sciences and dean of the Renaissance School of Medicine. “The Phillips Family Cancer Center has direct access to the Stony Brook University Cancer Center, where researchers and clinicians share one singular purpose: to investigate, discover, and drive innovation,” he added.

Stony Brook University president Dr. Samuel Stanley called the center a “unique opportunity in which academic medicine will help build on the leading healthcare programs offered by Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.”

“With this incredible state-of-the-art facility, the Stony Brook Healthcare System continues its mission to bring extraordinary services and care to Suffolk County’s 1.5 million residents as its only academic medical center,” he said.

The 13,800-square-foot building was designed by architect Blaze Makoid, who took inspiration from the property’s legacy as the former site of a potato barn. The interior was shaped to enhance healing by healthcare facilities architect Victor Famulari. Patients and families are cared for in private and shared treatment spaces featuring murals of East End beach scenes. Chemotherapy treatment rooms overlook outdoor organic gardens and landscapes. There are separate entrances for radiation therapy and medical oncology patients. Mobile computers with automatic charting allow medical staff to focus more time and attention directly on the patient.

“This was a bold initiative taken on by Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, the Southampton Hospital Association, and Stony Brook Medicine, supported by the generous philanthropic support of the Phillips family and others,” Assemblyman Fred Thiele said at the unveiling the new center, also pointing to it being a win for his constituents.

“This unique collaboration will allow East End patients to stay close to their homes and loved ones while receiving the best in cancer medicine. I congratulate everyone involved for their steadfast commitment to bringing comprehensive healthcare to our region,” Thiele added.

The $24-million cancer treatment facility became a reality in part due to a $9 million donation from Barbara Phillips and her family. Southampton Hospital, she said, saved her mother-in-law’s life. The Phillips family has provided funding for radiation treatment at the hospital going back decades. At the ribbon-cutting Thursday, she shared words from her mother, who was on the board of St. Clare’s Hospital in Manhattan where she was an advocate for a 100-bed AIDS treatment wing, that have resonated with her for years.

“People used to say to my mother, ‘Why do you go there? These people are done,’” Phillips said. “But my mother said, ‘No they are not done, because they have hope. They have medicine. They have science on their side.’ And today, in fact, we know they are not done. People will live because of this wonderful thing.”

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