New cancer center opening in Pueblo will offer advanced treatments to southern Colorado

New cancer treatment center offers advanced, comprehensive care to southern Colorado
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 11:32 AM MDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2022 at 5:38 PM MDT
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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - Southern Coloradans will soon have a new option for cancer treatment.

On Oct. 10, Parkview Health System in Pueblo will welcome its first patients to the new comprehensive cancer care center.

Like the name suggests, the facility will offer treatments under one roof for every kind of cancer. The center is the result of a collaboration between Parkview Health System and Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers.

“Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers was founded 30 years ago on the simple idea that people shouldn’t need to travel far for the best cancer care available. We are proud to partner with Parkview Health System to create the new comprehensive cancer center and provide the community with world-class cancer care close to home,” said Glenn Balasky, executive director of Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers.

The doctors staffing the facility told 11 News that is means a lot to them to have a facility of this caliber in the community.

“We feel like everyone deserved high-quality healthcare. . .close to home,” said Dr. Saraj Singh, the Parkview Director of Radiation Oncology. “A cancer diagnosis can be devastating for patients and what can be even more devastating is having to travel 50 to 100 miles to get to quality care in southern Colorado.

The facility is three stories and will boast a staff of 51, including oncologists from all disciplines -- surgical, medical and radiation physicians, and diagnostic imaging physician -- nurse navigators, physical therapists, genetic counselors, nurses and nutritionists. The center will provide inpatient care and has a linear accelerator, which is a machine to provide precise radiation care that’s not available anywhere else in southern Colorado.

This is the Varian Edge Linear Accelerator. This machine can target different types of tumors in different parts of the body and hit it with a beam of radiation. Rather than flood the body with radiation, radiologists can tailor the beam to be as precise as less than millimeter.

“This is Varian’s latest linear accelerator, and so when we decided which machine we were going after, we decided to try and get the latest and greatest and most accurate machine,” Dr. Singh said. “This is the first Edge machine in southern Colorado.”

With other similar linear accelerators, treatment can take 15-30 minutes; but with this machine, treatment can take as little as five minutes. This would allow the facility to treat patients faster. This would allow them to treat more patients.

Parkview also partnered with Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers (RMCC), who is transitioning care from their clinic on the northwest side of Pueblo to the second floor of the building. With the additional space and resources, Dr. Travis Archuleta with RMCC said this will help double the amount of patients they can treat.

The Comprehensive Cancer Center is located next to Parkview Medical Center.

“We understand that cancer treatments can be complex and finding a team you can trust is important to us,” said Parkview President and CEO Leslie Barnes. “Our community looks to Parkview to provide the most advanced and comprehensive care available. This new facility provides the best options for our patients and their families in one convenient location.”

Those who helped make the center become a reality say the very best part is the facility’s building to better serve those in the community battling cancer.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday to celebrate its opening.