MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Fairmont Regional Cancer Center (FRCC) officially became a part of WVU Hospitals (WVUH) on Wednesday (May 29).

The FRCC, located on Locust Avenue in Fairmont, provides radiation therapy treatments to cancer patients through a machine called a linear accelerator, which delivers high-energy X-rays to tumors.

In purchasing the FRCC from Kirti Jain, M.D., WVUH officials have pledged to keep the center in Fairmont.

“We believe this is a good investment in the community, in keeping with our mission and responsibility as the state’s premier academic medical center,” Bruce McClymonds, president and CEO of WVU Hospitals, said. “We believe it’s important to keep radiation oncology services in Marion County, closer to patients who need them at a critical time in their treatment for cancer. We will offer WVU Healthcare’s state-of-the-art radiation therapy services there, so patients won’t have to travel to Morgantown when they’re feeling most vulnerable.”

To ensure that Marion County area patients are receiving the highest quality of care possible, the FRCC will close on July 1 to allow for upgrades to the facility and its equipment, including the replacement of the center’s linear accelerator. This process is expected to last three months. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the FRCC will reopen on or around Oct. 1.

During the closure, current FRCC employees will join the staff of the WVUH Radiation Oncology Department. Fairmont physicians can refer patients to WVU physicians Geraldine Jacobson, M.D., Alexander Chi, M.D., Carl Jueng, M.D., and Christopher Watson, M.D., who will also be requesting privileges at Fairmont General Hospital in order to meet referral needs.

“We look forward to bringing the same high quality radiation oncology services to Fairmont that we have developed at WVU, with the installation of state-of-the-art equipment, full-time physician staffing and access to multidisciplinary care and clinical trials,” Dr. Jacobson, chair of the WVU Department of Radiation Oncology, said.

The Fairmont center now becomes a part of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center (MBRCC), West Virginia’s premier cancer facility with a national reputation of excellence in cancer treatment, prevention and research.

The MBRCC is recognized by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer for providing the best in cancer care. It encompasses the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center, an American College of Radiology designated Breast Imaging Center of Excellence; the Comprehensive Breast Care Program, accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers; Bonnie’s Bus, which delivers the most advanced digital mammography to communities in West Virginia; and the Osborn Hematopoietic Malignancy and Transplantation Program, West Virginia’s only source for blood and marrow transplants.

In addition to state-of-the-art treatment programs, the MBRCC also provides access to national clinical trials for many cancer types.

The Cancer Center was ranked #74 in the country by U.S. News and World Report.  In the publication’s detailed report, the MBRCC was noted as having a “much higher than expected” success rate as compared to other cancer centers in the country.

WVU Hospitals purchased the FRCC for $14 million, including $3 million for upgrade costs. The state’s Health Care Authority approved WVU Hospitals’ Certificate of Need to purchase the center on April 26.
For more information: Angela Jones-Knopf, News Service Coordinator, 304-293-7087
ajk: 05-24-13