Cancer patients will soon be able to seek treatment at a state-of-the-art facility on Battlefield Parkway, according to Hutcheson Medical Center officials.
Dr. Ralph Nipp, Hutcheson's chief executive officer, spoke about the upcoming Hutcheson on the Parkway this week at the Walker County Chamber of Commerce's monthly luncheon.
“We found there are a significant amount of older people needing cancer treatment in the community,” Nipp said. “They did not want to travel in traffic. We are going to have services second to none, and you can get to it on Highway 2 without getting on the freeway.”
The hospital is building a new ambulatory center, surgery center, imaging center, physician center and cancer center at Hutcheson on the Parkway. The ambulatory surgery will have plastic surgeons, gastroenterology, staff and parking lots.
“Our foundation has raised $2 million dollars for the linear accelerator, which is an X-ray beam (that zaps cancer),” he said.
A team of three oncologists will work at the cancer center.
“Through that facility we will provide care to the whole community,” he said. “Maybe they don’t have insurance, but they may have something. There are payment sources we can get them. As long as people work with us, we will work with them.”
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Future plans are to house an after-hours care facility in the physician’s building, which is near Wal-Mart Supercenter on the parkway.
The physician’s building will be completed by the end of June, while the ambulatory center will be complete on Aug. 2. The cancer center is scheduled for completion on Nov. 1.
“We need to continue to grow with the community,” Nipp said. “We need to strive to provide quality care.”About Hutcheson
“The mission of Hutcheson Medical Center is to provide access to quality, cost-effective, community-based healthcare services in a healing environment,” Nipp said. “Hutcheson is a member of the business community. We have 1,400 employees, and people want to stay with us.”
Hutcheson employees earn an average salary of $35,000 per year and 80 percent of them live in Catoosa, Walker and Dade counties, which the hospital serves, with an average employee tenure of 7.46 years, he said.
“Hutcheson is a hospital authority encompassing three counties, and we are proud to take care of them,” he said. “A hospital authority is a relationship between the hospital and elected officials. The hospital is operated by Hutcheson Medical Inc. board.”
The hospital does not receive any local government funds. Some state funds are available though for indigent care, he said.
Hutcheson is able to provide service for people without medical insurance, he said.Joint Commission
The Joint Commission on Health Care Organizations will review Hutcheson on the Parkway.
In a recent review this month on Hutcheson’s main campus, the health care watchdog agency recommended five changes involving leadership, paperwork and record keeping.
“We are proud of the joint commission,” Nipp said. “Part of their job is to make sure standards they set are met.”
Walker County Chamber of Commerce will not have a monthly luncheon in July. Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell is scheduled to give the State of the County address at the next Chamber luncheon on Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 11:50 a.m. at the Walker County Civic Center. For more information, call (706) 375-7702.
Hutcheson pays the joint commission for inspectors to come in and show the hospital what needs improvement, he said.
“We have already satisfied most of their suggestions,” he said. “The last time they were here (in 2002) Hutcheson made high scores. It has nothing to do with altering certification.”
The hospital is still accredited, and the recommendations will not affect that status, Hutcheson’s public relations director Betsy Chapin Taylor said earlier this week.
The departure of the hospital's emergency services administrator was a personnel issue and not related to the evaluation, Taylor said.
To find out more on Hutcheson Medical Center’s services, go to http://www.hutcheson.org.