Published on May 04, 2017

Groundbreaking for UNC Cancer Care at Nash

Talbott Cancer Center

New facility to be named Danny Talbott Cancer Center

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new UNC Cancer Care at Nash facility was held on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Nash Day Hospital atrium. Heavy rains in no way dampened the spirits of those attending the indoor “groundbreaking” ceremony for the 11,000 square-foot facility which is scheduled to be completed in early 2018.

The official name for the center, announced at the Nash UNC Health Care Foundation’s Pink Party fundraiser, will be UNC CANCER CARE at NASH, Danny Talbott Cancer Center, named in honor of Rocky Mount’s athletic legend and cancer survivor.

In addition to a newer, brighter environment and more convenience for patients, all current services — radiation and infusion (chemotherapy) treatments along with supporting navigation, nutrition, and social work services — will be offered in a single location. Providing services in one space will also give oncologists, nurses, and professional staff greater opportunities for real time, face-to-face meetings and improved communications with primary care physicians, clinicians, patients, and families.

The medical oncology clinic features nine examination rooms and one additional exam/procedure room. For chemotherapy treatments; the new infusion center features 14 semiprivate bays with recliners, one private room with a bed, and a dedicated pharmacy for faster treatment.

For radiation treatment, the new center will utilize two linear accelerators, plus a CT simulator for precise dosimetry — the determination of radiation doses. This area also includes separate sub-waiting areas for male and female patients.

Welcoming remarks from James Lilley, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, Nash UNC Health Care, opened the ceremony. Larry Chewning, President and CEO of Nash UNC Health Care, praised the staff on work already being done to fight cancer.

Dr. Laura Jacimore, a board-certified radiation oncologist with the center, shared her hopes and dreams from 12 years ago when she first joined Nash UNC that, “One day, we would have a comprehensive cancer center where our patients would come to get all their cancer-related care.” She closed with one of her favorite proverbs, “’Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.’ Many thanks go out to all those who’ve made this new ‘tree of life’ possible for our patients and this community.”

Dr. Devena Alston-Johnson, board-certified in medical oncology and hematology, also shared her enthusiasm and excitement about the new center. She has treated patients around the country, most recently serving as both Medical Director for Cigna and as a physician for the St. Francis Don Secours Health System near Greenville, SC before joining Nash UNC.

Cancer’s prevalence and its enervating effects on the human body have made it the most despised disease in the world, ahead of AIDS and Alzheimer’s. In round numbers, half of all men and one in every three women will experience cancer. Among women, breast cancer is the most common form; among men, it’s prostate cancer.

Sterling Grimes, Director, Cancer Services at Nash UNC Health Care, closed out the groundbreaking ceremony with accolades for all those who have made UNC Cancer Care at Nash a reality. She said, “I am so pleased for our patients that we can continue to provide state-of-the-art cancer care in one beautiful, convenient facility. This really is a dream come true.”

For more information call 252-962-4150.

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