Cancer center opens doors to patients

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Approximately 100 community members and friends gather for the Danny Talbott Cancer Center Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Thursday at Nash UNC Health Care.


Staff Writer

Friday, February 2, 2018

Mayor David Combs cut the ribbon Thursday for the new Danny Talbott Cancer Center that opened on the campus of Nash UNC Health Care.

Roughly 100 people came out to celebrate the opening of the new facility, which includes three primary service areas – an oncology clinic, radiation therapy and infusion therapy. The center features 10 examination rooms, 14 semiprivate bays with comfortable recliners in the infusion center, state-of-the-art equipment, a dedicated pharmacy and a spacious lobby. 

James Lilley, chairman of the Nash UNC Health Care Board of Commissioners, said the board has been working toward this day for a long time.

“This is culmination of 10 years worth of work. During that time, we have added the new emergency department, a cardiac center and a new women’s center,” Lilley said.

“But I don’t think anything more exciting than trying to find a better way to treat and care for cancer patients.”

At Thursday’s opening, Dr. Ian Buchanan, interim CEO of Nash UNC Health Care, said the center represents UNC Health Care’s commitment to providing top-quality health care to all North Carolinians and particularly those in rural areas of the state. 

“UNC Cancer Care represents a combination of excellence in clinical care and outstanding access to cutting edge research.  Most of all, UNC Cancer Care represents our commitment to multidisciplinary cancer services that wrap around the patient and treat them like a person and not just a tumor,” Buchanan said. “The Danny Talbott Cancer Center is an embodiment of these principles. We believe that cancer care is best delivered close to home.”

Named in honor of Rocky Mount’s athletic legend and cancer survivor, Danny Talbott, the 11,000-square-foot facility now houses all services under one roof — diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy and infusion therapy, hospice and palliative care, navigation, nutrition support, financial counseling, genetic counseling, clinical research and social work services, according to a statement from the hospital.

“The new center provides a beautiful environment and state-of-the-art cancer care in one convenient location,” Sterling Grimes, director of cancer services at Nash UNC Health Care, said in the statement. “With about half of all men and a third of all women experiencing this most despised disease sometime in their lives — not to mention all the family members and friends who are affected  — we are overjoyed to be able to offer these services close to home.”

Nash County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robbie Davis, who also spoke at the opening, said his family had personal experience with the disease last year when the temporary cancer treatment facilities, located across the campus of the hospital, played a big role in his family’s life. UNC Cancer Care at Nash has been operational at those temporary facilities since 2015.

Davis said his wife was diagnosed with cancer in February 2017 and received follow-up treatment locally at Nash UNC Health Care.

“My wife was so pleased to find out that she could receive her treatment five miles from her home. And she received wonderful care,” Davis said.

Davis said his wife had planned to come to the opening of the cancer center but elected to attend the opening of the master gardeners class at the Nash County Agriculture Center instead. Davis said he is grateful she had that option.

“Gardening was the last thing on her mind last year at this time, but the excellent care she has received from the UNC Health Care system has allowed her to participate in things like this moving forward,” Davis said.