JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - On Sunday afternoon residents were in awe after they got to get a first look at the new Ben E. Owens Cancer Center at St. Bernards Medical Center.
Hospital staff took residents, patients and anyone interested in seeing the new facility on a tour at the open house event.
A couple was amazed to see the new space, the technology, and how far the hospital has come over several years.
"It's new and it's beautiful, I mean you can just see," Roberta Foltz of Jonesboro said. "Of course, I hope we don't have to need it completely, that's always our hope. But it is, it's beautiful."
Foltz's husband, Verrel, echoed what his wife had to say about the new facility.
"This is beautiful," he said. "There are a lot of nice things in here."
They repeated many times that they never want to be in a position that puts them at the cancer center, but they said if happens, they know it is a good place to be.
St. Bernard's Healthcare plans to host multiple events to honor the opening of the new Ben E. Owens Cancer Center.
The first event kicked off around 10 a.m. Friday morning with a media tour of the new facility.
The building will see anywhere from 125 to 150 patients per day for oncology and hematology, while radiation oncology alone will see anywhere from 40 to 80 patients.
One doctor said it's a bonus to the care they're already giving patients.
"A building is a building, but what matters is the team, the quality of people, and the type of work they do inside the building," Dr. Mazen Khalil said.
A formal program, including a ribbon cutting and a VIP tour, also took place Friday afternoon.
A community open house and tour are scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 30, from 3 to 5 p.m.
Construction of the new facility took ten months and involved more than 150 workers, with Nabholz serving as contractor for the $9.9 million project.
It's the first of a four-phase, $137.5 million master plan that also involves changes in the Heartcare Center, construction of a new five-story Surgery and Intensive Care Tower, relocation of emergency services and extensive renovation of the medical center.
Since the cancer center opened in 1991, it has provided care for more than 25,000 patients.
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