Most hospital officials like to wait until building projects are completely finished — maybe even open for a couple months — before they decide to officially cut a ribbon.
Then there’s Inova Fair Oaks.
The Fairfax hospital plans to celebrate the opening of its new radiation oncology center next Tuesday even though the majority of the $45 million, five-story building for the Inova Comprehensive Cancer and Research Institute isn’t even finished yet.
The new radiation oncology location will house the hospital’s linear accelerator, said Inova Fair Oaks spokeswoman Amy Richards. This technology is meant to deliver treatment more accurately than traditional radiation therapy and can be used to treat all adult cancers, including breast, prostate, lung, head and neck, gynecologic, colorectal cancers and lymphomas.
“This is a huge advancement for the community,” she said.
When it’s finished, the 113,000-square-foot cancer treatment center will have a breast care center, cancer rehabilitation services, a meditation room and healing garden, and a mental health program for cancer patients.
The cancer treatment center at Fair Oaks is part of a stream of smaller projects that are part of a much bigger goal of Inova’s to become a premier destination health center. Inova’s Mount Vernon Hospital is tackling a $44 million expansion. This is part of a number of investments Inova has made in recent years, including a patient tower it opened in 2012, and the $400 million women’s and children’s hospital it plans to open in 2016.
Inova says it’s on pace to break ground on a $252 million Inova Comprehensive Cancer and Research Institute – an outpatient cancer facility of unprecedented size in northern Virginia– on its Inova Fairfax campus sometime this year. That institute will house Inova’s Center for Translational Medicine when it is completed.
“With the rapid growth of the baby boomer population in Northern Virginia we know that we will need to provide high quality, easily accessible cancer care at all of our hospitals,” said Susan Carroll, Vice President of Inova Comprehensive Cancer and Research Institute. “The opening of our new center at Fair Oaks allows patients to receive that care close to home, while being tied into a larger more comprehensive cancer network.”