Ribbon cutting planned for July 27th.
Frederick, Md (KM). Frederick County is looking forward to the new James M.Stockman Cancer Institute which is currently under construction. The facility located at the Rose Hill Plaza off of Oppossumtown Pike will be part of Frederick Memorial Hospital. “We are on track and on budget. And we are currently scheduled to cut to ribbon on July 27th. So it’s getting close,” says Dr. Mark Soberman, Medical Director of Oncology Services for Frederick Regional Health System, the parent entity of FMH.
Dr. Greg Rausch, the chairman of the FMH Development Council, says Dr. Soberman and his staff center their work around the patients. “They look at how do they take care of patients. And they designed a center that’s going to accommodate the patient because the center is built for the patient,” he said.
The center will be twice the size of the current cancer institute located across the FMH campus on West 7th Street, and will contain the same services for patients. “IV chemotherapy infusion center. There will be radiation oncology, so we have two brand new linear accelerators which are machines that deliver radiation treatment. Plus a brand new Cyberknife. which is a unique service here in Frederick; it’s one of a few cyberknife centers in the state of Maryland,” says Dr. Soberman.
He says the new institute is designed to also heal the mind and spirit as well as the body. “The color schemes, the designs, the materials, everything to make patients and their families feel calm, to feel safe, to foster healing, and I really think it’s going to be a remarkable building,” says Dr. Soberman.
The center is named after James M. Stockman, whose a local real estate entrepreneur. He donated a $3-million gift to the hospital because of his father whose a cancer survivor.
Dr. Rausch says there are still some naming rights for other donors who want to give to the James M. Stockman Cancer Institute. “We still have about ten or 11 naming areas within the center. The minimum donation for a naming right is $25,000,” he says. “There are several opportunities still available for generous donors who have the capacity who would like to put their name into an area of the center.” Dr. Rauch says you don’t have necessarily name it after yourself; you can also name it after a parent, other family members or anyone you want.
The Development Council set as its fundraising goal for the cancer center at $21-million. Right now, it’s at $18.7-million, says Dr. Rausch, and the $21-million amount appears to be in sight. “We’re very, very close,” he says.
Anyone e wants to give can go to the FMH website. Dr. Rausch says you can contact him, even at his home, and ask about making a donation. His number is 301-473-8909.
FMH last year began its affiliation with the M.D Anderson Cancer Network based in Houston, Texas. Dr. Soberman says that means the cancer center can benefit from the research and expertise provided by the M.D. Anderson’s physicians. “All of their knowledge and access to all of their specialists and all of their programs and their protocols comes with our membership in the M.D. Anderson Network as well as tools for measuring, reporting and improving the quality of the care that we provide,” he says. “So it really brings that standard up to what a patient could get if they got on a plane and went to Houston, Texas.”
While many of the services provided to patients at the James M. Stockman Cancer Institute are expensive, Drs. Soberman and Rausch say financial assistance is available for those who need these services but may find it difficult to pay. “Within our cancer program, we have financial counselors who will help patients navigate through the details of their care. And we also have social workers who work with patients to get additional coverage,” says Dr. Soberman.
Dr. Rausch says patients can also take advantage of the Cancer Patient Assistance Fund which was established 10 years and has a total of $1-million available. “100% of every dollar donated goes directly to patient care,” he says. “It doesn’t pay for doctors; it doesn’t pay the hospital; it doesn’t pay for X-rays. It pays for outpatient medications and nutritional support.”
“We’re a community center, and no one–I repeat that, no one–is ever turned away,” says Dr. Rausch. “:People get the care they need.”
By Kevin McManus