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News and Featured Stories from St. Vincent's Medical Center
Published: 01/13/2010

New Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center For Cancer Care Ribbon Cutting.

St Vincent's Medical Center - Bridgeport CTBRIDGEPORT, CT, January 13, 2010— St. Vincent’s will unveil its Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care by providing the public with a preview look at the new 125,000 square foot building designed to consolidate cancer prevention, diagnostic, treatment and survivorship services in one convenient and attractive location. The new building marks the most significant expansion project in the Medical Center’s 106-year history. It will open its doors to patients officially on February 2.

The general public is invited to visit the new Elizabeth Pfriem SWIM Center for a tour of the facilities led by oncology staff and managers during the open house on Saturday, January 23 from 10 am - 3 pm and Sunday, January 24 from 12 pm - 4 pm. Refreshments will be provided.

“This magnificent new structure and its many cutting-edge features and technological advancements will only enhance the superb care the community has come to know at St. Vincent’s,” said St. Vincent’s President/CEO Susan L. Davis, RN, EdD. “Coupled with the expertise of our physicians, the multidisciplinary approach to care, and the screenings and support provided by the SWIM Across the Sound, the new center gives me the confidence to say that area residents will not have to travel outside our service area to receive state-of-the-art cancer care.”

A ceremonial ribbon cutting and blessing at 6pm on Saturday, January 23 in the new center will precede a private reception honoring Elizabeth Pfriem of Southport, whose major donation to St. Vincent’s served as the cornerstone of its capital campaign to fund the new center. Elizabeth Pfriem is the former publisher of the Bridgeport Post.

“Betty Pfriem decided to make a difference in the lives of those who suffer and face serious illness, and now because of her, patients will no longer have to leave this community for the care they need,” said St. Vincent’s Foundation President Ronald J. Bianchi. “Her leadership in this campaign is a gift of healing and support for all who live in this region. As Bridgeport’s greatest advocate, she is a champion of this campaign, and we are deeply indebted to her.”

The cancer center, built at a cost of approximately $50 million, is part of a master facility plan, which required St. Vincent’s to raise $145 million and includes a new parking garage opened in 2008, the Michael J. Daly Center for Emergency and Trauma Care which opened on January 7th of this year, and a realignment and upgrade of services and technology on the hospital’s main level, already in progress.

The cancer center, a four- story building which also houses the new Michael J. Daly Center for Emergency and Trauma Care recently dedicated on its first floor, encompasses 125,000 square feet of new construction, all built to green standards, and introduces a generous amount of natural light filtering into the healing environment of its interior. The architect is Perkins Eastman and the general contractor is Gilbane Construction.

“The cancer center is designed to improve access to early diagnosis and treatment in a warm, caring and patient-friendly environment, “ said Stuart G. Marcus, MD, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, and Chairman, Department of Oncology. “ It will be a facility characterized by strong organizational capabilities, institutional commitment and the unparalleled loyalty of our professional staff, which will combine to provide cancer patients with the best possible outcomes.”

Highlights:

Highlights include the Elizabeth Pfriem Center for Radiation Therapy, which houses extraordinary equipment combining diagnostic imaging, digital fluoroscopy and digital radiography to target all tumor sites, while minimizing damage to healthy tissue; a PET/CT Dual Unit Scanner and Simulator; the Ambulatory Infusion Center; the new Women’s Imaging Center; an Education and Conference Center, and administrative space housing offices for physicians in addition to the Prostate Cancer Institute, the breast cancer nurse navigators, the clinical trials office and the tumor registry.

The Elizabeth Pfriem Center for Radiation Therapy, housed within the new cancer center, offers the latest and most advanced diagnostic and treatment technology available. It features the Novalis Tx™ Radiosurgery and Varian Rapid Arc™ radiotherapy technology, representing a new standard for non-invasive radiosurgery for both brain and body sites. A specialized built-in tracking device is used for instant target identification and localization. High dose radiation can be delivered safely and quickly to the tumor while sparing the normal surrounding tissues. Treatment times are faster compared to the cyberknife and gamma knife systems. This device is simply revolutionary in its design and functionality and will result in better patient outcomes.

“We are proud to offer such a device to our local community,” said Vice Chairman of Oncology and Medical Director of Radiation Oncology Christopher Iannuzzi, MD.

The cancer center also features the Integrative Oncology Center offering a range of complimentary therapies and survivorship programs including a boutique, spa services, nutrition counseling and risk-reducing cooking classes in a new demo kitchen, massage therapy, social work services, pastoral care services, financial counseling, a meditation area and a garden courtyard for infusion therapy where patients may relax in tranquility while receiving their chemo treatments.

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Green Elements of Design and Construction

Optimized energy-performance mechanical and electrical systems will be employed throughout the new building, and the use of plate and heat frame exchangers afford “free” equipment cooling. Other energy-efficiency design elements include local controls of lighting and temperatures, minimal runoff storm water management, demand-based ventilation for high occupancy spaces, avoidance of CFC materials (Chlorofluorocarbon - chemical compounds used as a refrigerant and aerosol can propellant) through the use of non-refrigerant chillers, mercury-free thermometers, and low-volume toilet fixtures.

The building exterior employs Low-E glazing (special low emissivity window coating to prevent radiant heat from escaping through glass windows), and heat-reflective roofing. Interior finishes are made of sustainable, low-emitting and recycled and/or renewable materials. Wherever possible, the construction utilizes local materials and recycling of waste products.

The entrance plaza and parking area reflect that of an urban park, to be generously supplied with trees, shrubbery and seasonal plantings.

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