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Wake Forest Baptist officials unveil newly expanded cancer center

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TWC News: Wake Forest Baptist officials unveil newly expanded cancer center
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WINSTON-SALEM -- Officials at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center unveiled their latest expansion. The Comprehensive Cancer Center got a six-story addition. It's a move that will bring in-patient and outpatient services together. Officials say this is just another way they're improving patient care.

Doctors say cancer treatment is one of the fastest growing services offered at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

“Cancer is arguably our most distinguished program at the medical center,” Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center CEO Dr. John McConnell said.

He says with this $125 million expansion to the comprehensive cancer center, they'll be able to serve their patients better.

“This new facility allows Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to continue offering world class cancer care and treatment as one of the country's only 41 comprehensive cancer treatment centers and the only one in western North Carolina,” McConnell said.

The expansion combines all adult cancer related in-patient and out-patient services under one roof. Doctors say the goal is to make it easier, not only on the patients but their families.

“[This will make] even the simplest of things in patient rooms and the layout of waiting rooms etc. to be as welcoming as possible,” McConnell said. “And [this helps] to create an environment that is not only healing, but can make patients and their families feel they are truly in great hands.”

Officials say the expansion gives them the infrastructure to grow their clinical programs. Right now, there are more than 200 cancer-related clinical trials underway.

“The research that goes on here touches our patients because it brings new therapies to them. But it also touches patients in the region, nationally and internationally,” Wake Forest School of Medicine Dean Dr. Edward Abraham said.

US News ranked the center the state's number one cancer hospital and 12th in the nation.

The expansion opens to patients next week. Officials say the building is both ahead of schedule and under budget by about $7 million.

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