The NorthBay Health Cancer Center, in the VacaValley Wellness Center in Vacaville, is more than just a place, it’s a coordinated program of comprehensive cancer prevention, detection, treatment, rehabilitation and support services. It is staffed by oncology experts — physicians, nurses, pharmacists, technologists and therapists who strive to provide a compassionate approach to cancer treatment and care to patients and their families, supported by state-of-the-art technology and access to cutting-edge clinical research protocols.
It moved to its Vacaville location in 2016, after 30 years in Fairfield on the NorthBay Health Medical Center campus. Radiation Oncology occupies the first floor, and features a linear accelerator, which arrived in pieces from around the globe. It was assembled and calibrated to deliver precise treatments in less time to radiation patients. On the third floor, spacious private and semi-private bays with sweeping views are used for patients receiving infusion of chemotherapy. Just down the hall is the pharmacy that prepares the medications.
“It’s all about putting the patient experience first,” said oncologist and hematologist James Long, M.D., medical director for the Cancer Center. “We looked to some of our industry leaders in patient experience and borrowed heavily from their playbook when the center was designed. The goal is to make each visit as calm, comfortable and healing as possible.”
Oncology nurse navigators are available to assist patients as they start their complex cancer journey. Navigators not only expedite appointments and organize test results but serve as a resource for information about support groups and clinical trials.
In May 2016, NorthBay Health became a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. This gives oncologists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts for second opinions on complex cancer cases.
“The goal is to make each visit as calm, comfortable and healing as possible.”
— James Long, M.D., Cancer Center medical director
“It’s absolutely free for the patient, doesn’t even involve seeking insurance approval, and the response is quicker than it would take to refer a patient to a regional cancer center in California,” said Dr. Long, who also serves as NorthBay Health’s physician champion for the Mayo Clinic Care Network.
At the center of it all are the Cancer Center’s physician team of oncology, hematology and radiology, oncoplasty and breast reconstruction specialists.
The Cancer Center offers genetic counseling, radiation therapy, infusion services and an in-house pharmacy that delivers precise medications for infusions. Chemotherapy and biotherapy treatments are administered using the highest level of care by staff of oncology-certified nurses and other clinical staff.
Advanced imaging services include the center’s state-of-the-art Varian TruBeam linear accelerator — that kills or shrinks cancer cells using an advanced image-guided radiation therapy system, while avoiding healthy tissues and organs. Other advanced imaging services include digital mammography, MRI, ultrasound, 3D mammography, MRI-guided breast biopsy, CT, PET scans and X-ray services.
For more information on cancer care, visit NorthBay.org/Cancer.