Radiation Oncology Celebrates 30 Years at Clinch Valley Medical Center
September 20, 2021
In September of 1991 Clinch Valley Medical Center added Radiation Oncology to its list of service lines. The addition of Radiation Oncology to the hospital brought the convenience of receiving radiation cancer therapy close to home. Since its opening, the Radiation Oncology department has seen over 3,600 cancer patients, added various technological advancements and expanded its services to include a tumor registry, hereditary testing, and oncology nurse navigation.
Clinch Valley Health CEO Peter Mulkey commented, “I remember when the Radiation Oncology department opened. We were better able to serve patients in our immediate area with closer and more convenient cancer care.” Mulkey went on to say, “Radiation Oncology in Richlands meant that patients no longer had to drive hours round trip every day for treatment. That was a big advantage for our patients in 1991 and that advantage remains thirty years later.”
Kim Roller Director of Radiation Oncology at Clinch Valley Health explained, “The department has added various technological advancements throughout the years, replacing the original Philips linear accelerator with an Elekta Synergy in 2005. The Synergy is capable of delivering Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) with the precision of daily CT Image Guidance (IGRT). In 2013, the department added an oncology-specific electronic charting system and upgraded the Synergy platform to further improve treatment accuracy.”
The original Radiation Oncology team included Robert Weinacker, MD; Jane Clary, RN; Tony Shrader, medical dosimetrist; Jack Lontz, medical physicist; Kay Medley, radiation therapist; Mark Horn, service engineer; and Sheila Jackson, secretary.
Clinch Valley Medical Center is in the process of updating the Radiation Oncology department with new equipment. This includes the purchase of an Elekta Versa linear accelerator, a new Monaco treatment planning system and a dedicated GE CT simulator. The new equipment will allow area patients needing stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to be able to receive treatment at Clinch Valley Medical Center.