About Chelyen Davis:
Chelyen Davis is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Analyst rejects cancer center plan
An analyst at the Virginia Department of Health this afternoon rejected Mary Washington Hospital’s plan for a new $11 million cancer center.
Len Varmette’s report says that the proposed cancer center with its linear accelerator and other cancer-fighting equipment are not needed. The state wants existing linear accelerators to do at least 8,000 procedures a year before it will consider approving a new one. At Mary Washington’s Cancer Center of Virginia on State Route 3, the two accelerators did about 7,500 treatments each last year.
Varmette also notes that creation of new radiation therapy center will hurt the owners of existing centers, such as the University of Virginia Health System and the Mid-Rivers Cancer Center in Montross.
"One could reasonable question the wisdom of spending several million dollars" on the project, Varmette writes in his report. The hospital’s application now goes before a "fact-finding" conference in Richmond next month. Dr. Karen Remley, state health commissioner, will have the final say, perhaps early next year.
See tomorrow’s paper for more details. An earlier story about the project is here.