The cancer center at MidMichigan Medical Center–Alpena hasn’t seen any major changes to its facility since it opened 16 years ago. With the many advances in cancer care today, the medical center’s leadership says upgrades are needed.

Some of the renovations to the site include simple but effective enhancements to improve patient satisfaction, such as heated chairs and personal entertainment systems in its chemotherapy infusion suites. Other changes dive into the technical realm and directly affect quality of care, such as the new linear accelerator, a TrueBeam Radiotherapy System, that the medical center will begin installing this summer and expects to have up and running in September.

As renovation gets underway within the cancer center, the medical center devised a solution to ensure ongoing services for its cancer patients rather than sending them to another facility two hours away. The center is installing the patented Temporary Radiotherapy Vault (TRV) developed by RAD Technology Medical Systems. The temporary vault and equipment will allow the medical center to continue treating patients while its new permanent system is installed.

The TRV was installed in just days and in proximity to its existing vault. The temporary solution comes equipped with a precommissioned Varian linear accelerator. It even includes a reception area, office space and restroom. When it is no longer needed at the Alpena site, RAD can relocate the system to another health care facility. The company says the TRV is so easy to relocate that this particular system is now in its fifth location.

The renovations at MidMichigan Medical Center–Alpena’s cancer center are part of a larger effort to upgrade several of the medical center’s services. In addition to replacing its linear accelerator, the medical center is replacing equipment in its cardiac cath lab and imaging department. It recently celebrated its one-year anniversary as part of the MidMichigan Health family, which it credits with many of the improvements being made.

“Since our partnership began, the benefits MidMichigan Medical Center–Alpena is experiencing are in large part a result of the hard work of our integration teams,” says Diane Postler-Slattery, president and CEO of Midland-based MidMichigan Health. “Leaders from both organizations have worked tirelessly to integrate our systems, technologies and staff. Their passion and excellence wasn’t just to ensure that our partnership succeeds, but more importantly to ensure that our patients receive the high-quality care they deserve. As a result of this commitment, patient satisfaction scores in Alpena are increasing, and care is being kept local so residents don’t need to travel far for care.”