Baptist Health Corbin invited some patients, staff and physicians to write messages of hope and healing on the walls of its new Radiation Oncology Center during its dedication ceremony on Jan. 8.
“At Baptist Health Corbin, we believe that our patients heal best when they are treated close to home, surrounded by family and friends,” read a press release from the hospital. “Our staff, physicians and some of our patients wrote inspirational inscriptions on the walls of the vault for all that have been touched by cancer. Written in stone on the unfinished concrete walls of the treatment room, they will be permanently embedded in the physical structure of our facility of healing.”
Work towards the Radiation Oncology Center started six years ago.
“This is project we have been working toward for right around six years now,” said Mark Steely, Vice President for Operations and Planning. “It is just an overwhelming to be this close to it and know that we are almost there.”
Dr. Swati Yalamanchi, a hematologist oncologist at Baptist Health Corbin, said that if a patient needs emergent radiation treatment, the hospital ultimately has to transfer the patient to Lexington to receive treatment. With the new facility, however, patients will be able to be treated locally.
“I started at Baptist five years ago and I remember talking with other physicians about this, how this was going to come about, and finally it is happening, so we are very excited and I know our patients are excited as well,” said Yalamanchi.
Both Steely and Yalamanchi wrote on the walls of the center.
“I looked for something that was encouraging because patients that are going through cancer are dealing with things that most of us don’t understand,” said Steely about his inscription. “I looked for something [that] I would want someone to say to me to encourage me.”
“Chemotherapy, treatment, cancer in its self is never going to break the human spirit and so that is where my quote came from,” said Yalamanchi. “I just wanted to encourage patients that they will be able to get through this.”
The Radiation Oncology Center is expected to be completed in March.