New Cancer Center Opens at Auburn Community Hospital

By Geraldo Reid, NCC News

On Wednesday, the ribbon was cut to celebrate the opening of a new state-of-the-art cancer center in Auburn. The cancer center is a part of the Auburn Community Hospital that looks to further evolve the treatment of cancer patients. It aims to provide the region’s most meticulous and comprehensive services for those battling cancer.

Cancer patients in Auburn and Cayuga County had to travel far distances to get necessary care. The cancer centers in the Syracuse and Rochester locations proved to be a long journey for those in need of urgent treatment.

The new Upstate Cancer Center brings the latest in design and technology to the Auburn community.

Dr. Komal Akhtar is the medical oncologist and director of Auburn Community Hospital. She said that the new cancer center offers a more progressive and convenient way of accessing treatment.

“Previously, we were only able to do chemotherapy when we were still part of the hospital there, and now we have radiation available,” she said. “So they need chemo and radiation together, we can allow them to get that, and, you know, at the same facility without having to travel long distances.”

The $15 million cancer center will allow the hospital to add a more complex system of how to treat cancer patients. The pioneer behind the center and CEO of Auburn Community Hospital, Scott Berlucci, broke through with this mission five years ago.

He said making available an affordable and accessible care facility for the community was needed.

“By bringing, you know, world-class cancer care in this cancer center, right here to Auburn Community Hospital, it’s service excellence because we’ve partnered, you know, with the best in the business,” he said. “It provides access and availability to the community.”

The mayor of Auburn, James Giannettino, was pleased with the center’s opening for the community. Knowing that prior treatments had to take place 45 minutes to an hour away, he said that thorough care from the facility of doctors is guaranteed.

“First and foremost, they’re going to get really good cancer care,” he said. “There’s a caring staff here that, you know, take stock in their patients. So it’s going to be very personable care. And I think the most important thing is their personal support networks are here with them. Which is, you know, that’s a big component of cancer care.”

Read the story on the NCC News website.