New York Cancer & Blood Specialists will be opening yet another oncology treatment center — this time in Port Jefferson Station.
Construction on the 17,000-square-foot building is already well under way on the north side of Nesconset Highway between Woodhull and Old Town Roads.
The company has even set up a live view camera, so anyone can follow the progress (screen shot above).
The new clinic will join one of more than 30 sites on Long Island already, 13 in Suffolk County alone.
The clinic is described by the company as a state-of-the-art center providing not only chemotherapy treatment but the latest in immuno oncology and checkpoint inhibitors.
The site will also host ongoing and new clinical trials.
New York Cancer and Blood Specialists has decades of experience in what they call “community cancer care” specializing in treatment, according to a statement from the company’s CEO, Dr Jeffrey Vacirca.
The company was founded in 1977.
“Community care is different because we have more mobility than the larger institutions,” reads Dr. Vacirca’s statement.
While they work in tandem with all the surrounding area hospitals, according to New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, the company is structured in a way where they can offer a higher level of attention and care to their patients.
They also offer more insurance options and better pricing for treatment, he said.
“We are able to do all that because our doctors remain part of the community care system,” according to Dr. Vacirca.
The statement also reads that recent changes in the growing practice now allows it to get preferred drug pricing, a savings they say they can pass along directly to their patients.
In a 2018 study, investigators looked at cost data for over 6,500 patients with breast, lung, or colorectal cancer in a hospital-based versus a community-based treatment clinic.
The study concluded there was a “significant” increase in the mean monthly cost per patient in hospital-based clinics. This was “largely driven by the increased cost of chemotherapy and provider visits in hospital-based clinics,” the report reads.
And New York Cancer & Blood Specialists offers options for its patients in cancer care.
If traditional chemotherapy is not having the desired effect for a patient, they offer clinical trials and/or personalized immunotherapy as an alternative.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) website, immunotherapy is a type of biological cancer treatment that helps one’s own immune system fight cancer.
The NCI is the government agency charged primarily with cancer research and training.
The new clinic was designed specifically toward patient flow with an efficient process to move patients from the moment someone comes in the door for treatment to the moment they leave the building.
The clinic should be able to treat 210 patient every month. They expect to have anywhere from three to seven doctors on staff at all times, based on the needs of the patients. The number of support staff members will depend on how many doctors are in-house.
“Each doctor has a care team designated to the patient and that doctor,” said Dr. Vacirca
The company expects to recruit new hires specifically to staff the clinic.
While they are focused solely on cancer treatment, they are concerned with the total well-being of their patients as well, offering yoga classes as well as nutrition, counseling services and more through their wellness programs.
Clinical trials are also a big part of New York Cancer & Blood Specialists’ offering for patients.
A list of ongoing trials run by the company is listed on their website.
The company presented its plans to the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic association two years ago. Civic Vice President Sal Pitti, said the company was responsive to their questions and concerns.
He noted that now that construction is underway, the building is going up very fast. It’s also hard to miss in its current state.
“The yellow wrap makes the building stick out right now,” said Pitti.
The clinic is expected to open June 2019.
photos by Lon Cohen