published Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Memorial Hospital to build cancer outpatient center in Ooltewah

By the numbers

• $2.4 million - Cost of building 8,733 square feet outpatient center in Ooltewah

• $5.6 million - Cost of new linear accelerators to replace decommissioned unit at Memorial's main campus and add a new unit to the new Ooltewah facility

• 307 - Number of patients expected to use Ooltewah cancer center in the first year

• 7,367 - Number of treatments anticipated at the Ooltewah cancer center in the first year.

Source: Memorial Health System, Tennessee Health Services Development Agency

Memorial Hospital plans to take part of its cancer treatment to the suburbs.

The Glenwood hospital gained approval Wednesday to add a $10.2 million outpatient cancer center in Ooltewah to provide radiation services adjacent to its imaging center on Mountain View Road.

Despite opposition from a half dozen rival cancer treatment and medical providers in Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tenn., the Tennessee Health Services Development Agency unanimously voted Wednesday to grant Memorial a certificate of need for the new Ooltewah facility.

Memorial plans to decommission one of its existing linear accelerators used for radiation services at its main campus in Glenwood. In its place, Memorial will add a Varian TruBeam multifunctional linear accelerator to a new outpatient center to be built in Ooltewah by 2015.

Memorial President James Hobson said the new facility will provide a more accessible and comfortable setting for residents needing cancer treatment in East Hamilton County

"This project is an important step in completing our overall mission," Hobson said after getting state approval for the latest hospital building project.

Memorial is already spending more than $318 million to expand and upgrade both its Glenwood and Hixson hospitals over the next four years.

In latest construction project, Memorial officials project an Ooltewah outpatient center would perform 7,367 treatments in its first full year of operation by 2015.

"As the population grows in the Ooltewah and Collegedale areas, this will offer treatments closer to where people live and work," said Lisa McCluskey, Memorial's vice president of marketing communications.

Memorial opened its $19 million imaging and physician office building in 2010 on part of its 52-acre site in Ooltewah. The new outpatient center, which will be headed by radiation oncologist Dr. Eric Ellis, will be built adjacent to Memorial's current facility in Ooltewah.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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