Texas Oncology性视界传媒檚 Longview campus will have room for more providers, patients and medical equipment through a 性视界传媒渕ajor expansion and renovation性视界传媒 the organization kicked off this month.

The more than $11 million project will add 3,000 square feet of space to the cancer center at 1300 Fourth St., increasing the facility性视界传媒檚 size by 11%, Texas Oncology reported.

性视界传媒淭he project will modernize and expand patient waiting and exam rooms, chemotherapy infusion rooms, and offices, while adding space for new MRI and CT scanners, enhancing the practice性视界传媒檚 ability to provide comprehensive care management,性视界传媒 Texas Oncology reported. The facility does not currently have an MRI machine

性视界传媒淎s the Longview area grows, we are committed to investing in our facilities so that we can meet the growing need for high quality cancer care in our community,性视界传媒 Dr. Larry Frase, medical director, Texas Oncology性视界传媒揕ongview, said in a statement. 性视界传媒淲ith this renovation project, our site will be much larger and redesigned for more efficient clinical functionality to provide an optimal patient experience.性视界传媒

The Longview center will continue operating during the work, which is expected to be completed in April.

性视界传媒淓xpanding our Longview location underscores the founding principle of Texas Oncology, which is to provide patients access to high quality and leading-edge cancer care locally, with less overall disruption to their daily lives,性视界传媒 said Dr. R. Steven Paulson, president and chairman of the board of Texas Oncology.

The Longview center opened opened in 1983, said Dr. Joseph 性视界传媒淐hip性视界传媒 Hodges, radiation oncologist.

性视界传媒淚t was just time to refresh a property that has served us well, served the community well,性视界传媒 he said.

At the same time, though, the number of patients the local center sees has been growing,

性视界传媒淲e性视界传媒檝e simply just run out of room, and we needed to have space to accommodate more providers,性视界传媒 Hodges said.

The Longview cancer center has always been a 性视界传媒渧ery busy place,性视界传媒 Hodges said, but patient volume is growing.

Practice Director Keith McIntosh said 42,000 people walked trough the doors in the past year, including repeat visits by patients. That性视界传媒檚 an 8.2% increase from the prior year, he said. The number of new patients increased 6.8% over the prior year.

性视界传媒淲e have one of the busiest radiation oncology practices of all Texas Oncology,性视界传媒 McIntosh said. The Longview facility is in the top three systemwide and first in terms of volume in Northeast Texas.

Hodges said growth in numbers of patients could be attributed to several factors: an aging demographic and more screening that helps identify cancers at earlier stages.

He said patients also like to be able to receive care closer to home rather than driving to another city.

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Hodges also said he 性视界传媒渉umbly性视界传媒 believes patients who come to the Longview center feel like more than a number 性视界传媒 they feel at home. Receiving care locally means they can sleep in their own beds, be with their family, take children to and from school and avoid the expense of traveling.

He said every doctor at the local center has trained at places such as M.D. Anderson and U.T. Southwestern, which are both known for cancer care.

性视界传媒淚t性视界传媒檚 not shocking to us性视界传媒 that patients choose to receive their care locally, Hodges said, adding that being able to receive cancer care close to home provides advantages in a patient性视界传媒檚 treatment outcome.

When the cancer center was built, special attention was given to ensuring patients sitting in the chemotherapy infusion room had windows where they could see outdoors to the wooded area around the center.

性视界传媒淲e性视界传媒檒l probably have more windows,性视界传媒 Hodges said, with sunlight coming in from the roof of the patient waiting area and better windows at the front.

性视界传媒淎ll that性视界传媒檚 going to be even more of a natural feeling,性视界传媒 he said. 性视界传媒淭he chemotherapy area will continue to have a nice view of the greenspace.性视界传媒

The building will, however, lose an architectural element across the front that represented East Texas性视界传媒 iconic pumpjacks. McIntosh said those elements, which were part of the roof overhang, were rotting, and it made more sense to remove them in the expansion.

That allows the front of the building to be expanded out to provide more office space, more exam rooms and more providers.

The facility uses a mobile CT machine. The work will provide two CT machines in the building as well as the MRI. Radiation equipment also will be updated.

Hodges said the cancer center is trying to minimize patient inconvenience during the work.

性视界传媒淲e性视界传媒檝e living in a renovation,性视界传媒 he said.

Texas Oncology in Longview has 15 physicians, including medical oncologists, hematologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, gynecologic oncologists and blood and marrow transplant care providers. Texas Urology Specialists, part of Texas Oncology, has four urologists in Longview at 802 Medical Circle, Suite 400.

Across East Texas, Texas Oncology has 30 physicians, 18 advanced practice providers and almost 400 additional clinical and support team members at 15 sites of service. Statewide, that network has more than 530 physicians and 6,000 employees.

The Longview renovation is part of a more than $150 million investment by Texas Oncology in capital improvements statewide over the past six years.

Jo Lee Ferguson wishes she kept her maiden name - Hammer - because it was perfect for a reporter. She性视界传媒檚 a local girl who loves writing about her hometown. She and LNJ Managing Editor Randy Ferguson have two children and a crazy husky.