New Cancer Center Wins Approval in Harrison, Despite Heavy Opposition From Local Hospitals

New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of the country’s leading cancer care hospitals, has received approval to build a $143 million outpatient facility in Harrison. A New York State panel ruled in favor of Memorial Sloan-Kettering (MS-K), despite strong objections from a group of Westchester and other Hudson Valley hospitals.

Published November 3, 2011 4:51 PM
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hospthumNew York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of the country’s leading cancer care hospitals, has received approval to build a $143 million outpatient facility in Harrison. A New York State panel ruled in favor of Memorial Sloan-Kettering (MS-K), despite strong objections from a group of Westchester and other Hudson Valley hospitals.

 

By Paul Hicks

New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of the country’s leading cancer care hospitals, has received approval to build a $143 million outpatient facility in Harrison. A New York State panel ruled in favor of Memorial Sloan-Kettering (MS-K), despite strong objections from a group of Westchester and other Hudson Valley hospitals.

hospinsThe local hospitals claimed the area was already well served by several facilities with the latest technology for radiation and other cancer treatment. White Plains Hospital Center argued that its profitable cancer care center would be less able to support money-losing operations such as its emergency room with strong competition from MS-K.

 

The proposed outpatient center would be built at 500 Westchester Avenue in a complex formerly used by Verizon. It would treat patients throughout the Lower Hudson Valley as well as Fairfield County, where both Greenwich and Stamford Hospitals have cancer care units.

 

According to MS-K’s application, 13% of the outpatients at its Manhattan hospital currently come from this area. They also noted that as cancer primarily affects older people, the number of patients is projected to grow with the aging of the population.

 

The proposed facility in Harrison would offer a CT scanner, MRI, linear accelerator, PET scanner and services such as diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine, pharmacy services, radiology, pain management, and physical therapy. All surgeries, however, will continue to be performed at Memorial Hospital in Manhattan.

 

MS-K is already operating similar suburban outpatient centers in Basking Ridge, N.J. and Commack, on Long Island. It has also provided patient care in Westchester for more than 15 years, operating a facility in Sleepy Hollow, which will remain open.

 

Construction of the Harrison center is due to start next spring and the facility is scheduled to open in early 2015. The total cost of the project will be financed by a combination of internal MS-K funds and proceeds from newly issued bonds. An initial staff of 140 will include physicians and other health-care professionals, all of who will be full-time MS-K employees.

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