Elected officials joined NYCBS for a ground-breaking ceremony.

New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (NYCBS) held a ground-breaking ceremony Oct. 10 for what it said will be a “state-of-the-art” cancer treatment facility in Port Jefferson Station.

The new, modern facility will be “the most advanced, patient-friendly cancer treatment center of its kind on Long Island,” according to NYCBS, pointing out the 15,000-square-feet center was “designed to treat the whole patient, not just their cancer.” The new center will have everything patients need to fight cancer in one convenient location right in their own backyard, including a pharmacy and radiology services, said Dr. Jeffrey Vacirca, CEO of NYCBS.

“About three years ago, we decided that we needed really to redesign and have a new office that was more centered on what the patient experience needs to be,” Vacirca told the Press.

The goal was to provide patients with everything they needed for their care in one center, “from the beginning of their treatment to survivorship after they finish treatment,” he said. “Our mission is to take care of patients in their community. But also our whole belief in our cancer care model is that we don’t want patients to have to be admitted to hospitals, spend unnecessary time away from their home and unnecessary cost if we can do everything for them locally and do it better.”

The existing Port Jefferson Station facility will remain open after the new center opens, which is expected before summer 2019, he said, noting “we’ll probably add about 30 people” to its existing staff of about 100. A nearby East Setauket facility will close after the new center opens, according to NYCBS. 
 

Also planned are two additional, state-of-the-art large cancer centers in Suffolk County that will open in the next 12 months. New facilities in Riverhead and Patchogue will follow the one in Port Jefferson Station, Dr. Vacirca told the Press. On tap as well are NYCBS’s first two locations in Nassau County, also scheduled to open in 2019, but those plans – including their exact locations – are “still in development,” he said.

NYCBS is also planning an expansion into Brooklyn and upstate New York, he said, noting it now has 30 offices, including 13 in Suffolk (where it first started) and the rest in Queens, Manhattan and The Bronx.

Dr. Vacirca told attendees at the ground-breaking event: “To kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists is proud to announce the home of our newest cancer center.”

He thanked NYCBS patients attending the event “for allowing us to care for you,” adding “this is not going to be your normal cancer center.” Among its other unique features, the facility will be open 365 days a year, he said.

Dr. Vacirca also thanked attending local elected officials: Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon, U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward Romaine.

“I’m very happy to see that they’re here,” Romaine told the Press of the new NYCBS Suffolk facilities, adding: “I think they’ll help a lot of people who normally would have to think about seeking treatment in” New York City.

Pointing out that he himself is a “two-time cancer survivor,” Toulon told attendees: “I wholeheartedly know how important it is to have not only good patient care, but have compassionate, caring people when you walk in through the doors.”

One “appealing” feature of the new facility for Keith Seidel, a 53-year-old Farmingville cancer survivor who has been a NYCBS patient since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014, is the fact that it will have doctors, a pharmacy and radiology services all in one location, he told the Press. That is convenient and will “definitely” save time for patients, he said.

An artists rendering of the new building.
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