East Jefferson General Hospital expands its outpatient cancer treatment capacity
After more than a year of fundraising, planning and construction, East Jefferson General Hospital recently opened its new Outpatient Oncology Infusion Center. The center is located on the third floor of the hospital’s Regional Cancer Center, on its Metairie campus.
When the time came to expand East Jefferson’s cancer treatment facilities, Dr. Paul Monsour, head of radiation oncology at the hospital, chaired the capital campaign fundraising committee. “It’s an excellent center,” he says of the finished product. “It’s a one-stop shop for cancer treatment. We have the capability to do everything.”
Previously, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy had access to eight infusion stations, where they received chemotherapy, blood transfusions or antibiotic therapy. The new Infusion Center offers 22 stations; the hospital has also increased the number of available exam rooms from three to seven.
Since patients sometimes need to receive treatment at the center for up to 12 continuous hours, East Jefferson focused its expansion design on patient comfort. “The patients have really nice reclining chairs and individual ‘pods’ they can sit in; a television they can watch; and a space for a friend or family member to sit with them while the patient is getting treatment,” Dr. Monsour says.
He notes that the new center also offers more privacy than the old layout. Patients seeking company can still chat with their neighbors, while those who prefer to undergo treatment alone can benefit from the semi-privacy afforded by each treatment pod. “Some people like to talk; some don’t,” Dr. Monsour says.
The Infusion Center also offers patients a “serenity room,” providing much-needed relaxation through massage chairs and soothing music. In addition, there’s a cancer resource library where patients can take advantage of access to educational materials and the latest research pertaining to their disease. “The typical cancers we see are often the result of lifestyle, so we want patients to have access to the best information so they can make healthier choices,” Dr. Monsour says. “Right now, we see a lot of breast cancer, and a lot of prostate cancer. And lately, a lot of skin cancer.”
EJGH is a certified member of the MD Anderson Cancer Network; EJGH physicians confer with colleagues at MD Anderson and have access to the same treatments used in Houston. One new area making their consultations easier in East Jefferson’s expanded Infusion Center is a state-of-the-art conference room, where physicians hold videoconferences and presentations, and discusss challenging cases. “We have tumor conferences several times a week, often with MD Anderson,” Dr. Monsour says. “Basically, we’re in the same room.”
The new Infusion Center’s overall goal is to make cancer treatment easier and more convenient for patients — a mission that not only improves quality of life, but leads to better medical outcomes. “We’ve got great people working here,” Dr. Monsour says. “Our center is one of the best in the city.”
EJGH Regional Cancer Center at the Yenni Treatment Center
East Jefferson General Hospital
4204 Houma Blvd., Metairie, LA 70006