Inside Look: Beebe’s new cancer center in Frankford

FRANKFORD, Del. – The emergency department at Beebe’s campus in Sussex County has been open for about two months but on Thursday 47 ABC got an up close look at their new cancer center.

“Now we offer quality high level treatment in their backyard, kind of, as opposed to any kind of travel,” says Barry Hamp, the executive director for Beebe’s oncology services.

Patients battling cancer in Sussex County will soon have a closer option for care as Beebe Healthcare prepares to open its new South Coastal Cancer Center. “If you have cancer you don’t want to be in the car for a long period of time. You don’t want to have to stay overnight in a hotel just because you’re so tired you can’t go home,” says Dr. David Tam, the President and CEO of Beebe Healthcare.

Officials say the Frankford location makes cancer treatment more accessible but they also enlisted the help of actual patients to help design a more comfortable space. “They know it’s a difficult place to be. They know it’s going to be treatment. They know it’s radiation but it doesn’t have to be ugly. It doesn’t have to be cold. It doesn’t have to be scary. It doesn’t have to look like a dungeon,” says Hamp.

Rooms with bulky machines were made less intimidating by tucking other equipment away in cabinets. Locally sourced artwork was hung and rounded corners that soften rooms can be found through out the facility as natural light pours in from massive windows.

“It’s about making the patient comfortable because they’re not. It’s cancer so one of the things you really have to work on from a patient satisfaction perspective is comfort and that helps them,” says Hamp.

Officials say some suggestions they brought to life include separate dressing rooms, shorter hallways, a cafe with meals and snacks, even a fireplace to offer extra warmth in the colder months. Previously many of these elements only found in large specialized facilities.

“Now we have the opportunity right here in Sussex County to provide that same level of advanced care that they would’ve had to do in a university setting or medical center setting right here where they are literally 10 or 15 minutes from home,” says Tam.

Beebe’s new cancer center at 32750 Roxana Road will open on Tuesday, July 14th.

47 ABC also asked Dr. David Tam if they’re being impacted by the statewide shortage of health care workers. He says their nursing school and partnership with Del Tech has helped them with staffing. He believes the challenge now is getting health care services to everyone in rural Sussex County.

Categories: Delaware, Local News