Monroeville, Pa. – Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and Forbes Hospital today unveiled plans for a new, state-of-the-art cancer and imaging center on Haymaker Road that will provide world-class care close to home for the residents of Monroeville and its neighboring communities. Construction of the new $35 million, 63,000 square-foot facility has already begun, with an expected opening in early 2019.
“Since opening our doors to the community more than four decades ago, Forbes Hospital has served as the eastern suburbs’ most preferred and trusted provider of comprehensive, high-quality health care services. That legacy has only grown stronger in recent years as we have continued to invest significantly in new capabilities and innovations to meet the needs of our patients,” said Mark Rubino, MD, President of Forbes Hospital.
“A few months ago, we started construction of a new perioperative center at the hospital that will greatly improve the experience of patients of in our cardiac, surgery and GI programs, among others, and today we are officially breaking ground on a beautiful new facility that will transform cancer and imaging care in our region.”
The AHN Cancer Institute at Forbes Hospital is one component of a $225 million commitment to improve and expand access to leading edge cancer care in western PA by Highmark Health and AHN. The Forbes Cancer Center is one of a half dozen community based cancer treatment facilities that AHN will be building over the next couple of years. The broader investment also includes a new academic cancer institute at Allegheny General Hospital and an expanded relationship with the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, offering AHN patients enhanced local access to Johns Hopkins’ cancer expertise and clinical trials.
“The evidence is clear that a cancer patient’s experience and outcome are both enhanced greatly by having access to high-quality, comprehensive clinical and support services under one roof and in a proximity to their home that is the least burdensome to them and their families,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, AHN’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The new Cancer Institute at Forbes is a perfect example of AHN and Highmark delivering on our promise to bring that ideal model of care to all of the communities we serve.”
As part of the AHN Cancer Institute, the new facility at Forbes will provide a wide array of clinical and support services for cancer patients, including state-of-the-art radiation oncology capabilities, medical oncology and infusion therapy, advanced imaging, nutritional counseling, social services and access to clinical trials being coordinated by the network’s quaternary hospitals, AGH and West Penn, and Johns Hopkins.
The new center’s imaging capabilities include PET scans, MRI, CT scans, X-rays, bone density testing and ultrasound imaging – all the advanced modalities that a cancer patient may need during the course of treatment and survivorship. Approximately 20 new employees are expected to be hired to staff the Center, in addition to those who currently work in cancer care at the hospital.
Located alongside Route 48 (Haymaker Road) on the Forbes Hospital campus, the new center is less than a mile from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Route 376, and Route 22, providing easy access to patients not only from Monroeville but also Westmoreland County and all neighborhoods and suburbs located east of the city of Pittsburgh.
Designed to enhance patient comfort, the center will feature abundant natural light and soft colors to create a calming and comfortable environment for patients and their families.
“Our goal is to create an atmosphere that’s not ‘institutional,’ where patients aren’t spending long periods of time in waiting rooms,” Dr. Rubino said. “We want patients to be able to walk in and proceed directly to the treatment area, so they are able to return to the comfort of their home as soon as possible.”
As the U.S. population continues to grow older and more diverse, the number of cancer diagnoses is rising. About 1.7 million new cancer cases – 81,000 in Pennsylvania alone - are expected to be diagnosed in 2018, a two percent hike from 2015, according to the American Cancer Society. In addition, the number of cancer survivors in the U.S. is expected to rise to from 15.5 million to 20.3 million in 2026. The need for better cancer screening, treatment and surveillance will increase accordingly.
“Investing in more services to care for our patients closer to where they live is critical to addressing the escalating cancer care needs of the western Pennsylvania community in the most effective and affordable manner, today and in the future,” said David Parda, MD, Chair, AHN Cancer Institute.