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Marlborough Hospital to build Cancer Center

March 25, 2011 – Following a recent trend among community hospitals, Marlborough Hospital announced Friday morning that it plans to begin construction on an $11.7-million cancer treatment wing.

John W. Polanowicz, president and CEO of the hospital, said that construction on a 14,500-square-foot cancer pavilion could start as early as the fall. The cancer treatment facility will be built at the rear of the Union Street hospital, which is a member of the UMass Memorial Health Care system.

The center will contain a healing garden as well as areas for oncology exams, medical oncology and radiation oncology, which is currently not available in Marlborough.

Polanowicz said that patients at Marlborough Hospital who need cancer treatment must typically travel to UMass Medical Center in Worcester for radiation treatment.

Medical oncology services are currently offered on the second floor of the hospital, built in 1952.

“If we can provide the same quality of care at a lower cost, in our mind it’s a win-win for everybody,” Polanowicz said after announcing plans for the center at an event attended by Marlborough Mayor Nancy Stevens, congressional aides and doctors and staff from Marlborough Hospital and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Polanowicz said that the number of cancer patients coming through the doors of Marlborough Hospital has increased in recent years and that there is a need for comprehensive cancer services locally.

Other area hospitals who have built cancer treatment centers in the past five years include Harrington Hospital in Southbridge and Milford Regional Medical Center.

Stevens praised Marlborough Hospital saying that the announcement was good news for the city because it will mean expanded treatment for patients in their local area and also more economic activity in the wake of an announcement last week that Fidelity Investments plans to move 1,100 jobs out of Marlborough by the end of next year.

“I think we could all use some good news right about now,” Stevens said. “We have such an excellent facility here and we take such pride in having it as the gem of our community.”

Marlborough Hospital will partner with the UMass Memorial Health Care Cancer Center of Excellence to run the center. The hospital is also working with Connecticut-based S/L/A/M Collaborative on the design of the wing and Woburn-based Tocci Building Corp. on the construction.

Those groups have partnered with Marlborough Hospital through a process called IPD or “integrated project delivery,” a trademarked method pioneered in Florida in which key players such as the architect, technical consultants, general contractor and subcontractors work as one group from the beginning.

The result in Marlborough, Polanowicz said, will be a speedier and less costly project. He said that the integrated process has shaved approximately $1.7 million off the project’s price tag.

The cancer pavilion would be the first health care construction project in New England built using IPD, he said.

 This story originally appeared here