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Rideout facility expansion enhances tools for cancer fight
New Rideout Cancer Center at a glance:
• $16.5 million expansion.
• 16,261 square feet added for a total space of 42,000 square feet.
• New reception and waiting lounges.
• Enhanced outdoor garden.
• 11 new transfusion bays.
• Six new examination rooms.
• A new PET CT scanner.
• An ultrasound machine.
• A True Beam Linear Accelerator.
Logan Elston, a retired construction-equipment operator, beat cancer last year while watching construction workers hammer away at the new Rideout Cancer Center in Marysville.
"I'd sit in the (chemotherapy) chairs and watch them, listen to them build it," the 90-year-old Marysville resident recalled on Saturday.
For Elston, who raised four children as a heavy-construction equipment operator, the sites and sounds of building were a welcome distraction from painful chemotherapy. Diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma two years ago, Elston beat the growth in his abdomen thanks to dedicated doctors and nurses and his family's support.
Elston's triumph came full circle on Saturday afternoon when he toured the new, improved cancer center he'd watched them build.
"Hallelujah!" Elston said of the expansion. "It's bigger — a person could get lost in here now. I'm glad it's all in Marysville and nobody has to go to Sacramento or Roseville."
Construction started in August 2011 and wrapped late last year, coming in more than $3 million under budget, according to Susan Vague, the center's administrator.
"It really is a jewel in this part of California with the level of service that's available now," Vague noted.
Dr. Scott D. Christensen, Rideout's medical director, said new technology and a dedicated staff would help define cancer treatment not only in Yuba-Sutter, but everywhere.
"We are forming a national model," he said of the cancer center's developments.
It's a model that has already provided hope and new life to countless patients and survivors like Elston and others like Marysville's Teresa Harris.
Harris, 34, was diagnosed in 2011 with Stage 3 colon cancer and battled the growth into remission at the Marysville treatment center.
"It's lovely there's more room for patients and their families," Harris said. "Everything is completely changed."
Elston's wife, Eunice, shuffled behind her husband and marveled at the palatial examination and waiting rooms and the sleek state-of-art equipment, said to be on the cutting edge of cancer-fighting technology.
"It was nice before because it's the people that really make it nice," Eunice Elston said. "But now it's outstanding, top notch. You really couldn't ask for anything nicer.
More Rideout expansions in the works
The Cancer Center additions are part of the larger $225 million expansion of the Rideout Regional Medical Center. Co-owned by Rideout Health and the UC Davis Health System, the Rideout Cancer Center is one of the few programs accredited nationally by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as a Community Cancer Program.
The program consults with about 850 new patients each year and reviews hundreds of follow-up patients, Administrator Susan Vague said.
"It's a very proud time for the organization and the community as a whole," Vague said.
Sutter and Yuba counties have a higher-than-average rate of cancer, especially lung cancer. However, the need for the expanded center was also driven by the fact that more patients are surviving cancer and living with the disease long-term, Rideout officials said in a statement.
Ann Madden Rice, CEO of UC Davis Health System, praised the Rideout partnership. "This is what the community can do about cancer and this is why we're so excited to be working with you," Rice said.
Rideout officials also plan expansions to the Rideout Surgery Center, the Fremont Medical Plaza, as well as an advance from a Level 3 to a Level 2 trauma center. The upgraded service level also depends on the completion of a new tower and helicopter landing pad, already under construction, according to Teresa Hamilton, CEO of Rideout Health.
"In December of 2014, we will be completing the entirely new hospital building, whose steel work has already changed the skyline of Marysville," Hamilton said.
CONTACT Rob Parsons at email@example.com or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.