Baton Rouge General Expands Cancer Center, Celebrates 30th Anniversary

(BATON ROUGE, LA) - Today, Baton Rouge General (BRG) announced plans to expand its Pennington Cancer Center at the Bluebonnet campus in Baton Rouge. Celebrating its thirtieth year of providing treatment to cancer patients, hospital supporters and leaders gathered in part of the construction site this afternoon to see plans for the 32,000 square foot cancer center.

“As our cancer treatment options have grown, it just makes sense to pull them all in to one centralized cancer center,” said BRG President and CEO Edgardo Tenreiro. “This expansion will make accessing our full suite of services easier for patients, and provide more dedicated resources to people recovering from and being treated for cancer.”

The new cancer center will expand and centralize Baton Rouge General’s cancer services, including radiation, chemotherapy, imaging, clinic space, hematology/oncology, nutritional support, and clinical trials to the first floor of the Bluebonnet hospital’s Medical Tower 2.

In addition to centralizing existing services to one location, the expansion adds additional services focused on patients with cancer, including a dedicated chemo pharmacy that will allow patients to get infusion faster, a dedicated oncology lab, and a new, larger infusion room with natural sunlight and electronic tablets to add comfort and convenience.

Once complete, the cancer center will include:

- Expanded radiation oncology center with new exam rooms added to current offerings that include two linear accelerators
- 34-chair chemotherapy infusion center with stations that include tables and tablets for all patients
- Hematology/oncology clinic that offers one of the country’s only IL-2 therapy programs
- A continued focus on clinical trials and cancer research
- Chemo-specific pharmacy and dedicated oncology lab for faster therapy and blood work
- A PET scanner that allows faster diagnosis
- 3D mammography
- A victory bell to acknowledge treatment milestones for patients

The hospital also announced it will open a new retail shop focused on cancer supplies and resources. The Healing Boutique will be the first of its kind in Baton Rouge, offering retail items and resources for patients with all types of cancer, including items for both men and women.

“When you find out you have cancer, you don’t know where to start,” said Melanie Dennis, a patient treated at Baton Rouge General. “The Healing Boutique will make it so much easier to find the items that make treatment and recovery more comfortable.”

Baton Rouge General’s cancer program was the first in Baton Rouge to be accredited by the Commission on Cancer 30 years ago. It was Louisiana’s first accredited comprehensive breast center, and has been named #1 in Baton Rouge for cancer care two years in a row by CareChex (2015, 2016).

The project will begin early next year with the expected completion date in early 2019.

Today, Baton Rouge General’s Pennington Cancer Center performs roughly 20,000 infusions and 10,000 radiation visits each year. The expansion will increase capacity and make services more convenient and efficient for patients.

While this project will centralize cancer services available at BRG’s Bluebonnet campus, the health system will continue to offer radiation oncology at three locations in Baton Rouge. “Our commitment to providing cancer care across the Baton Rouge area has not changed,” said Tenreiro. “We will continue to provide radiation oncology services at both Mid City and in Zachary, and we will offer infusion therapy at our neighborhood hospital at Ascension.”

About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community hospital with 588 licensed beds between two campuses. Baton Rouge General opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital since 1991, Baton Rouge General offers other medical education programs, including a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. For more information, visit BRGeneral.org, find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/BatonRougeGeneral and follow us on Twitter at @BRGeneral.

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