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									FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                               News
                                                                       MEDIA CONTACT: Joyce Brennan
November 20, 2008                                                              Public Information Officer
                                                                              Southcoast Health System
                                                                                  Phone: 508-961-5270
                                                                                   Pager: 508-387-9605
                                                                               brennanj@southcoast.org
                                                                      www.southcoast.org/news/releases/




Southcoast to open satellite oncology location in Fall River
        FALL RIVER, Mass. — Southcoast Hospitals Group today announced plans to open a
satellite oncology location at its Charlton Memorial Hospital site in Fall River. The satellite location
at Charlton, which will include both radiation therapy and medical oncology, will address the region’s
high cancer rate and need for comprehensive cancer services. It will operate as an extension of
Southcoast’s new cancer center in Fairhaven that was announced earlier this year.
        “Southcoast’s patients have come to depend on us to provide all of their care by increasing
access to services, upgrading our facilities and offering the latest technology,” said John B. Day,
President & CEO of Southcoast Health System. “It is Southcoast’s responsibility to continually meet
the growing and diverse needs of those who depend upon us. As a regional provider of health care
services, it is important that Southcoast further address the growing need for state-of-the-art cancer
services throughout Southeastern Massachusetts.”
        Charlton’s oncology program will be operational before the Fairhaven site is completed due
to the longer construction schedule for Fairhaven. Radiation therapy services in Fall River will be
added at the Charlton campus and the existing medical oncology services currently centered at
Charlton’s Jarabek Center will be expanded and upgraded.
        “Southcoast has a history of providing medical oncology services from its Dartmouth and
Fall River locations and is excited about enhancing its services at the Charlton site by upgrading the
facilities and adding radiation therapy,” said Keith A. Hovan, President & CEO of Southcoast
Hospitals Group. “These services will complement Southcoast’s well-established oncology services,
including inpatient and surgical services, and provide a continuum of care that is essential for our
patients and their families.”
                                                   -more-
Southcoast to open satellite oncology location in Fall River
Page 2 of 4
November 20, 2008


           The oncology satellite will be located in the Mitchell Therapy Building on Charlton’s main
campus. The entrance is accessible off Prospect Street in the back of the hospital and will have
designated parking with valet parking available. Rehabilitation Services currently provided out of this
location will move to another location.
           The difference between the Fall River and Fairhaven sites, Hovan said, is primarily the scale
and scope of services offered at the two sites.
           “To effectively coordinate the treatment of complex cancers and blood disorders it is
important for our specialist to be centered in one location where a collaborative approach to patient
care and a multi-disciplinary team can work together on the best course of treatment,” Hovan said.
“The satellite location therefore has full access to specialists and a seamless link to all Southcoast
facilities at the main center, but is more conveniently located for patients of the greater Fall River
region.”

Addressing the need
           Southcoast announced plans to construct a new comprehensive cancer center in Fairhaven off
routes I-195 and 240 in April 2008. The new center will ensure coordinated, high-quality, streamlined
care for cancer patients and their families. The addition of state-of-the-art radiation therapy easily
accessible for patients from the greater New Bedford and greater Wareham regions will improve
cancer care for our region and help address the region’s substantial unmet need for radiation therapy
units in the region.
           The decision to open the new satellite center in Fall River was due to the fact that the South
Coast region has a significantly higher cancer incidence rate (582 new cancer cases annually per
100,000 people) as compared to the state average (515 new cases). This results in 380 more new
cancer cases per year in the South Coast region than the Massachusetts average.
           Additional projections performed by Thomson Healthcare shows that 1,270 new cancer cases
will be diagnosed per year in Fall River by 2012, and a projection of 3,514 new cancer cases per year
will be diagnosed throughout the entire South Coast region. The National Cancer Institute finds that
about half of all people with cancer will receive radiation therapy, either alone or in combination with
other types of cancer treatment.
                                                     -more-
Southcoast to open satellite oncology location in Fall River
Page 3 of 4
November 20, 2008




         “Southcoast already diagnoses the highest amount of cancer cases in the region and it is our
obligation to meet community need and respond to this disease with the full spectrum of services
while providing the continuity of care that patients expect,” Hovan said. “We have to take steps now.
There is a growing need for advanced cancer treatment in Southeastern Massachusetts while at the
same time current access to comprehensive cancer care is insufficient.”
         To meet the projected demand for radiation therapy services for this cancer patient volume,
using the Massachusetts Department of Public Health methodology, the region is projected to need
six radiation therapy units by 2011. It is Southcoast’s goal to help meet this demand by operating two
of the units — one in Fairhaven and one at the satellite location in Fall River. The additional four
units will be operated by non-Southcoast-affiliated groups.

A well-coordinated patient experience and increased patient safety
         Currently Southcoast physicians must send their patients outside of Southcoast Hospitals
Group for radiation therapy services, interrupting their continuity of care.
         “The inpatients at Charlton Memorial will greatly benefit from the expansion of oncology
services, primarily radiation therapy patients who will no longer need to be transferred by ambulance
to another facility for this service,” said Herbert Hansen, MD, an oncologist at Southcoast Hospitals
Group. “There is a growing need everywhere for more specialized radiation therapy. As cancer
diagnosis and treatments become more sophisticated, the treatment also becomes more complicated.
Patients diagnosed with cancer need to have a consistent team of professionals identifying and
providing all aspects of their care within a comprehensive system.”
         When a patient receives oncology services through Southcoast, the patient’s records, lab tests
and scans are easily shared between providers offering the patients a well-coordinated patient
experience and increased patient safety. When a patient leaves the system because the necessary
treatment is not being offered at a Southcoast facility, records cannot be readily accessed and
diagnostic tests may need to be duplicated by the new provider further adding to the increase in
overall health care costs.
                                                       -more-
Southcoast to open satellite oncology location in Fall River
Page 4 of 4
November 20, 2008



         “Since our three hospitals function as an integrated delivery system the commitment to
providing quality care to all of our patients throughout the region is essential,” said Warren Wood,
MD, President of Southcoast Physician Services, and a long-standing Internal Medicine physician
who practices in Fall River. “The expansion of oncology services from Fall River to Wareham offers
patients the full continuum of cancer care and, most importantly, meets a substantial unmet
community need.”
         For more information on Southcoast’s Fairhaven comprehensive cancer site:
http://www.southcoast.org/news/releases/2008/040408.html.



About Southcoast Health System & Southcoast Hospitals Group


         Southcoast Health System is a community based health delivery system with multiple access
points, offering an integrated continuum of health services throughout Southeastern Massachusetts
and East Bay, Rhode Island. It includes the three hospitals that make up Southcoast Hospitals Group
— Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford and Tobey
Hospital in Wareham.
         Southcoast provides advanced clinical services, such as open heart surgery, angioplasty and
heart rhythm services, neurosurgery, weight loss surgery, orthopedic surgery and advanced imaging
services. Southcoast is a not-for-profit charitable organization that depends on the support of the
community to provide services. More information is available online at www.southcoast.org.
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