Last Wednesday, Angel Medical Center (AMC) invited members of the community to attend the “topping” ceremony for the new cancer center that will be located between Riverview Street and the Depot Street Extension.
Attendees were able to celebrate the hoisting of the first beam by signing their names and/or loved ones’ names on to the steel as a way to commemorate the event.
AMC CEO Jim Bross addressed those in attendance, expounding on the steps that AMC, along with Mission Healthcare System, has taken to make the center a reality.
“Mission's Cancer Care Services and Angel are merging and we're now following all of the same standards of clinical care and we're expanding the cancer care that is currently offered at our facility,” said Bross.
Many parties have been involved in bringing the cancer center to fruition.
Bross recognized those who have had a hand in bringing the $2.7 million cancer center to life.
“We're also very blessed to have Mission Health as our primary financing partner on the project. Just to be clear, Mission is actually guaranteeing or underwriting the project and the rest comes from a straight bank loan,” said Bross.
According to the figures that Bross gave, last year more than 650 patients were treated at AMC for Oncology — the study of cancer and tumors. This resulted in more than 1,100 treatments of medical infusion.
“For those of you who have been down that road and I'm not sure if there's any one of us that hasen't been affected or knows somebody who has been affected by cancer, we are very blessed to have the quality and particularly the caring and compassionate caregivers that we have at Angel and also the physicians who support that care delivery here in Franklin, N.C.,” said Bross.
The building where the center will be housed will have three floors and totals 25,000 square feet. The address of the building will be Depot Street, but there will have parking off Depot and Riverview. The lower level will house the rehab services and may be accessed from the lower parking area off of Depot.
Brian Walker, senior project manager at Vannoy Construction discussed the layout of the structure, detailing each floor.
“Behind us is the third floor where the endoscopy, the digestive group will be. In here to the left is the future elevator, to your right is the stairs, there are your endoscopy procedure rooms and over there are your exam type facilities. On the second floor is where the cancer center will be with a beautiful infusion area with recliners to look at the beautiful view out across the street there and then the first floor will be the physical therapy floor,” said Walker.
As a part of the topping ceremony, an American flag and a small tree were placed on the beam for good luck.
“We put the American flag on the beam to celebrate the great country that we live in and here on the left is an evergreen tree. The history on that dates back into Scandinavian history. They would put the tree on there as an offering to the tree spirits to help protect the home. It was a tradition that went on to England and from there it just kind of dispersed. It's been put on there to help protect the facility and to ask for good wills in moving forward,” said Walker.
The hospital auxiliary also attended the event to present to Bross a check of $20,000 to be used for the Cancer Center. The crowd then dispersed to a safe area in order to watch the beam being hoisted up and placed on to the structure as the next step towards completion of the facility that will serve the citizens of Macon County who may battle cancer in their lifetime.
The cancer center is scheduled for completion in the early spring of 2014. Commemorative bricks will be for sale that will be placed on the sidewalk in front of the structure. Those interested may call (828)524-8411 for more information.