Adventist Health Sonora
Adventist Health Sonora cancer care facility workers have increased from 14 to 40 staff members over the last 10 years, while the infusion center has expanded from six chairs to 14 treatment bays.

Adventist Health Sonora is celebrating the growth of the hospital’s cancer care facility over the past two years since the move to the Health Pavilion across Greenley Road in 2018.

The Health Pavilion today houses the Diana J. White Cancer Institute, a nationally-accredited comprehensive cancer care program.

Since moving to the Health Pavilion two years ago, patient volume has increased 15 percent with more than 600 new hematology/oncology patients consulted each year, Karen O’Brien, a communications manager for Adventist Health Sonora, said Friday in a news release.

The cancer care facility offers medical oncology and hematology, where physicians try to detect and treat all types of cancer and blood disorders; an infusion center with 12 private treatment bays for chemotherapy and immunotherapy; and radiation oncology with a linear accelerator providing stereotactic body radiation therapy.

O’Brien said the hospital’s oncology program has also experienced growth, and administrators plan to expand the program’s work force in the coming months.

Adventist Health Sonora used to be Sonora Regional Medical Center until the name was changed in February 2017.

The hospital says the Diana J. White Cancer Institute is now serving twice as many patients as it did in 2010. 

O’Brien said the cancer care facility workers have increased from 14 to 40 staff members over the last 10 years, while the infusion center has expanded from six chairs to 14 treatment bays.

Oncologists from Stanford and UC San Francisco are now referring patients to Sonora, according to Shane Tipton, the cancer care facility director and medical oncology provider.

“They recognize our capabilities and tell their patients that we can offer the same level of care in a state-of-the-art facility,” Tipton said in prepared remarks. “There’s no need to take on the additional burden of long drives and costly hotel stays.”

Michelle Fuentes, Adventist Health Sonora president, said now is a time to celebrate the fact that more patients are able to receive cancer care they need here in Sonora, without having to commute to an academic medical center.

Adventist Health Sonora is set up to serve the combined populations of Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, about 100,000 residents. Staff includes more than 250 physicians and providers; 1,375 associates and 150 volunteers. Adventist Health Sonora is the largest private employer in Tuolumne County. 

The parent company, Adventist Health, is a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, with facilities in more than 80 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii. For more information visit www.adventisthealthsonora.org.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.net or 770-0405. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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