Trumbull County residents have higher cancer rates than the national average.
By MONICA BOND
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Construction has begun on a $17 million expansion at Forum Health Trumbull Memorial Hospital that will include a new regional radiation oncology center and a center for emergency medicine.
Groundbreaking ceremonies were Wednesday morning.
"This is the moment I've been waiting for over a year," said Ralph E. Snelson, chair of the hospital's capital campaign committee. "We have stepped to the plate and we're going to create a healthy future."
Kevin M. Spiegel, the hospital's chief operating officer, said the improvements are "all about the patient."
"We're investing in the future of this community," he said. "We're on the right path to continue with a strategic plan."
The new radiation oncology center will be across East Market Street from the hospital; the third floor of the stand-alone center will be connected to Trumbull Memorial by a bridge over East Market Street. The emergency center will receive a complete makeover.
These projects are part of Forum Health's $102 million, five-year master facility plan known as The Forum Promise.
Trumbull County citizens have a higher-than-national average incidence of breast, colon, prostate and lung cancer. The new radiation oncology center will provide these patients state-of-the-art care and services, said corporate clinical executive Arlee Session.
The new radiation oncology center will have a dedicated computerized tomography room to prepare patients for treatment, a highly advanced linear accelerator for treatment, and an electronic portal imaging device.
"We will be able to treat more than 45 patients a day, which is double our current capacity," he said.
Session said patients will also have access to more nonclinical and complementary care, such as education about how to prepare meals and daily living activities.
The Center for Emergency Medicine will grow by 39 percent to a total of 14,170 square feet. Improvements include a level III trauma center, a chest pain center, 30 private treatment rooms, a sexual harassment treatment room, five ambulance bays and a helipad. The old emergency department has been there for about 25 years, said medical director for emergency medicine Dr. James M. Sudimak.
"We see a lot more trauma than we did," he said.
Warren Mayor Michael J. O'Brien said the hospital will provide more jobs and job security.
"Trumbull Memorial Hospital is the second-largest employer; the construction jobs, permits and added employees are all a strong benefit at the time when the city is going through an economic recession," he said. "The commitment Trumbull Memorial Hospital is making is one of job retention."
State Sen. Marc Dann of Liberty Township, D-32nd, said the improved hospital will allow those who are suffering to have a more comfortable environment for treatment.
"It is a huge investment in our community and we're so thrilled Forum has made this investment," he said.