Tim Leeds Havre Daily News email@example.com
The Hi-Line’s own state-of-the-art cancer treatment center is open for business today. After a year of fundraising and construction, the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center Friday held a grand opening including a ribbon-cutting by the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and opened its doors today as a fully functional treatment center including top-of-the-line radiation and chemotherapy treatment centers. “This is a milestone that has been reached for the Hi-Line that we are all very proud and excited about,” said Joe LoDuca, chief operating officer for the Sletten Cancer Institute. LoDuca said patients are in the cancer center today being prepped and working on the transition of their care to Havre. The first patient will be treated in Havre Tuesday, he said. LoDuca said Dr. Roy Hall, Havre oncologist, will be treating his patients at the center and Great Falls oncologists Dr. Brian Abbott, Dr. Grant Harrer and Dr. Donald Berdeaux can also arrange treatments at the Hi-Line center. To arrange appointments, current patients should discuss the transfer with their doctors and call the center, and new patients can call the center at 262-6000, LoDuca said. “We want to thank the community of Havre and the Hi-Line region for coming last week and making our open houses a tremendous success and their continued support,” LoDuca added. The center, a branch facility of the Sletten Cancer Institute in Great Falls, is a partnership between Northern Montana Hospital in Havre and Benefis Health Care in Great Falls, which operates the institute. The 11,000 square-foot Havre facility will treat patients along the Hi-Line, from Chester to Glasgow. The equipment in Havre will provide care equivalent to what most patients formerly needed to travel to Great Falls to find. Along with the linear accelerator that provides radiation therapy and the chemotherapy treatment section, the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center also offers an appearance center to help patients deal with the visible effects of cancer treatment and a resource center offering books, DVDs and other materials offering information about cancer and its treatment. The $6.5 million facility will be operated by Benefis Healthcare, using staff both from Havre and Great Falls. The Northern Montana Healthcare Foundation committed to raising $1.2 million of the funds for the construction effort, with a trip-of-the-month raffle under way now and the last fundraiser the annual wine and cheese gala set for Nov. 1. The foundation effort, co-chaired by Lynn Hamilton and David Leeds, had raised more than $920,000 of its goal to date.