Beautiful Building is Just the Beginning…
When the NorthBay Cancer Center opened its doors to a brand new facility in Vacaville this summer, it heralded the beginning of a new era of advanced medicine, treatment, rehabilitation and support services, all under one roof.
From spacious private and semi-private infusion bays with a view from the third floor, to the state-of-the-art linear accelerator for radiation oncology on the first floor, the NorthBay Cancer Center is ready to go boldly forward, putting patients at the forefront, said oncologist and hematologist James Long, M.D., who played a large part in the center’s layout, working with architects, designers and staff.
“We looked to some of our industry leaders in patient experience and borrowed heavily from their playbook,” explained Dr. Long. “Our goal is to make each visit as calm, comfortable and healing as possible.”
Teresa Langley, director and service line developer for for oncology, pain management, functional medicine and neuroscience, said it’s all part of NorthBay Healthcare’s long-term plan. “We are focused on becoming a regionally recognized destination for cancer care,” said Teresa, who during her 20-year career has opened six cancer centers and medical offices across the country.
It made her a natural choice to lead the move of all medical offices into the building. In addition to the Cancer Center, the building is the new home for Integrative Medicine, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Rehabilitation Services and Cardiac Rehabilitation.
“It was a bit like a game of chess, trying to figure out which move to make and when, but now all the pieces have come together and we’re functioning in a beautiful new environment that the patients really seem to appreciate,” said Teresa.
Our goal is to make each visit as calm, comfortable and healing as possible.
—James Long, M.D.
All three floors of the medical office building offer comfortable, pleasant lounges for family and friends. Cancer patients receiving infusions on the third floor can invite a friend or family member to join them during treatments that can last for hours. “We know it’s a big investment in time, so we want to make the experience as pleasant as possible,” explained Teresa.
NorthBay made a significant investment in equipment, with a new, state-of-the-art linear accelerator being at the top of the list. It came in pieces from around the globe and was assembled and calibrated this summer to prepare for the first patient late this summer, according to radiation oncologist Florian Ploch, M.D.
The new equipment will deliver precise treatments in less time, and will allow new specialties, such as stereotactic radiosurgery, to be performed. Those procedures involve the use of non-surgical radiation therapy to treat functional abnormalities and small tumors. It can deliver precisely targeted radiation in fewer high-dose treatments than traditional therapy, which can help preserve healthy tissue.
Cancer Center patients also benefit from having a pharmacy right on the premises, focused on creating the precise chemotherapy treatment requested by the physicians.
Teresa plans to launch a new genetic counseling program this fall, under the direction of an on-site genetic counselor who can provide in-depth evaluations. She also has plans for multidisciplinary clinics, which will include a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist, an oncoplastic surgeon, a general surgeon and a pulmonary oncologist.
In addition, the Mayo Clinic Care Network is just an eConsult away. NorthBay joined the network in May 2016, and has since referred numerous cases to Mayo Clinic experts for second opinions.
“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, NorthBay’s physician champion for the network. “Plus, you’re getting a world-class opinion.”