About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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No opposition at Health Department’s hearings

The state Health Department held public hearings this afternoon at the Spotsylvania library on plans offered by Mary Washington Healthcare and the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.

Mary Washington Healthcare and the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center took preliminary steps this afternoon to alter their basic roster of services.

Mary Washington wants to close its Cancer Center of Virginia in Spotsylvania County, upgrade one of the two linear accelerators there and move both of them. Spotsylvania Regional wants to add a lithotripsy service for the treatment of kidney stones.

Both plans were the subject of public hearings, sponsored by the Virginia Department of Health. No one opposed either idea. The two companies now will have to wait until later this year to find out if the state will let them make the requested changes.

Mary Washington has proposed moving the two linear accelerators at its Route 3 center. One would go to the new cancer center now under construction on the Mary Washington Hospital campus. The other would be upgraded and moved to Stafford Hospital.

Hospital officials have told the Health Department that the shift will provide for the better distribution of radiation therapy services in the region. Currently, the four approved or operating linear accelerators are located in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania. But the shift also will leave the new Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center as the only provider of radiation therapy in the county. Its cancer center is expected to open in May.

Spotsylvania Regional wants to contract with a mobile lithotripsy company to bring the service to the hospital one day a week. The same contractor already stops at Mary Washington each Friday and on alternate Tuesdays. Lithotripsy is a procedure that uses sound waves to break up stones in the kidney, bladder or ureter.

An earlier story on Mary Washington’s plan can be found here.


  • Cornelius Vanderau

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