DANSVILLE, N.Y. -- The Myers Cancer Center at Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville, Livingston County, is a 4,500 square foot, two-story facility more than a year in the making. A fundraising campaign helped pay for the $5.8 million treatment center, with a large donation coming from Ann and Carl Myers.
"Ann and Carl stepped up to the plate and just said, 'We want to do everything we can to offer cancer services to the people who live around us.' Their gift of $2 million to help us get this project started was absolutely wonderful," said Amy Pollard, Noyes Health president and CEO.
The center is an extension of the Wilmot Cancer Institute in Rochester, with all the amenities of the facility at UR Medicine. It will serve as a hub for collaborative cancer, and includes services at Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsvlle.
"It automatically elevates the care because we're able to put systems of care in place," said Dr. David Dougherty, regional cancer program director, Wilmot Cancer Institute. "Cancer care really depends upon teams working together. What we're able to do in a system like this is to really bring that team together to give the best care to patients."
Some 4,000 cancer patients from Livingston, Steuben and Allegany counties currently travel to Rochester to receive their treatments. Those patients can now receive their treatments closer to home.
Jon Shay knows that those travel expenses can add up. He's fought various forms of cancer since 2010, and figures he's spent about $1,000 traveling back and forth to Rochester five times a week.
"I live two blocks away," said Shay, a Dansville resident. "If I would've wanted to, I could have walked for the treatment. That would have been huge and that's one of the huge pluses of this center opening."
Cindy Davis, an x-ray technician at Noyes, is a breast cancer survivor. She recalls those trips to Rochester for chemotherapy as long and tiring.
"I had to go for six-and-a-half weeks every day," Davis said. "I had someone who would drive me but even by then when I got home I was so exhausted I'd go to bed for three or four hours so it took away from time with my family."
The oncology clinic at the Myers Cancer Center begins seeing patients on Monday. Radiation treatments will be available there by the end of the month.