MANSFIELD – OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital is expanding its infusion services footprint to better serve its patients. The new space now includes an additional 1,400 square feet, with 15 private infusion treatment areas and space for loved ones to accompany the patient.
The private infusion areas are in addition to a communal area for patients who prefer the company of others during treatment. The space will have a total of 21 infusion chairs.
The new infusion entrance opened April 29, while the next phase of construction was underway. Construction was complete at the end of June. Mansfield Hospital celebrated with a ribbon cutting on July 2.
Access to the new waiting area is from the hospital’s main lobby.
“For our patients that are already very tired and their blood counts are low and not feeling well, this new entrance will provide them easy access from the hospital lobby,” said Patti Kastelic, director of Cancer Care and Imaging.
Mansfield Hospital is the busiest infusion location in the OhioHealth system, serving over 900 patients a month and approximately 55 patients daily. After the expansion, Mansfield Hospital will be able to accommodate more infusion patients.
“I think that reflects the success of our hospital here in Mansfield and the excellent staff that we have in infusion services,” said Dr. Robert E. Exten Jr., medical director of oncology for OhioHealth Cancer Care.
In 2016, MD Anderson Cancer Network, a program of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, welcomed Mansfield Hospital to the network. This collaboration provides the best of Mansfield Hospital’s cancer care with the expertise of the nation’s leading cancer center to better serve the community.
“We treat a wide range of malignancies,” Exten said. “We use traditional chemotherapy, monoclonal antibodies, immune stimulators, and injectable hormone therapies for various cancers.”
Infusion services offer other supportive care, including red blood cell transfusions platelet transfusions, hydration, and electrolyte replacement. Patients are receiving high quality, comprehensive care close to home. The expansion is expected to only enhance the patient experience.
Before receiving treatment, patients meet with an RN specially trained in oncology to learn about the treatment process, side effects, and other helpful information.
“We are excited about the addition of a third full-time oncology pharmacist and a new radiation oncologist in the beginning of July,” Exten said.
One of the three pharmacists will be embedded in the Medical Offices at Mansfield Hospital and meet with patients to answer any questions they have regarding treatment.
Currently, treatments are given primarily in a communal room. The communal space will still be available and include six chairs.
“We’re expanding our square footage by quite a bit so that the environment will be much more pleasing to the patients and families as they come here for their cancer supportive services,” said Suzanne Temple, nurse manager.
Exten touched on the camaraderie that’s shared among patients.
“When they’re in the room going through this similar experience that lends to the support and to the education of what to expect,” he said. “When you have someone who’s ahead of you with the same protocol, they can reach out to patients and say, ‘This is what I experienced.’”
When patients complete their final treatment, they will have the chance to ring a celebration bell, which will be located in the patient waiting area. It is a celebration shared by the patient, family, and staff.