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Oncology or cancer patients have received care at CVPH Medical Center and its forerunners, Champlain Valley Hospital and Physicians Hospital, from the time their doors first opened. However, this specialized field took a quantum leap forward in March 1990 when the FitzPatrick Cancer Center opened. Located on the main campus of CVPH Medical Center, it was one of the first centers to offer a full array of services at one convenient location.

Medical oncology, radiation oncology, hematology, clinical research protocols, on-site laboratory and pharmacy services and support groups are located within the Center. Along with a staff of highly trained physicians, nurses, and technicians who specialize in caring for cancer patients, the Center enjoys the full support and expertise of dietitians, social workers and other professionals. It's no wonder that over the years, cancer care has become a center of excellence at CVPH.

From the onset the goal has been to provide the best cancer care possible using the expertise and skills of a variety of health care professionals, all collaborating to ensure the best outcomes.

Amenities have always been a strongpoint of the FitzPatrick Cancer Center. The facility was designed to establish a pleasant, comforting atmosphere. The staff has been superb in helping to make patients and families feel the support, concern and love that matters so much when survival is at issue.

From June 1999 through 2001, the CVPH cancer program had the honor of providing care for patients from Quebec through a contract with that province's Ministry of Health. As many as 60 Quebec citizens with breast or prostate cancer were treated in the Cancer Center with radiation therapy at any one time. CVPH was the first U.S. hospital to contract with the Ministry of Health and the last to serve our neighbors to the North. During the 2.5-year period, the FitzPatrick Cancer Center generated considerable publicity throughout Canada, but particularly in Montreal and Quebec City for its outstanding care and patient satisfaction. The Quebec patients had never experienced such patient-friendly care.

For more than 20 years, patients who require inpatient care and attention have been admitted to the R-5 Nursing Unit. The staff there specializes in cancer care and does an outstanding job in meeting the needs of patients and family. They combine clinical skills with compassion and a genuine concern for their patients. Palliative care for assistance with pain control was introduced to the unit several years ago as a welcome addition.