Radiation therapy services return to North Georgia

Radiation therapy services return to North Georgia

December 4th, 2018 by Elizabeth Fite in Breaking News

CHI Memorial Hospital-Georgia announced Tuesday that radiation therapy services will resume at the hospital's Battlefield Parkway location in Ringgold.

The region has been without cancer services for three years to date, when the facility, which at the time was owned by Hutcheson Medical Center, was forced to close as a result of Hutcheson's collapse. Memorial has worked to restore services since November 2017, when the hospital purchased the facility from Hutcheson for $4.5 million.

Dr. Ryan Cleary, a radiation oncologist at Tennessee Oncology who will be based at the facility, said the service will help North Georgia patients who've been forced to travel to Chattanooga for treatment.

"Many of our patients are getting weeks of once-daily radiation treatment that can be up to as many as nine weeks of treatment," Cleary said. "That's a significant commitment so it's really great to be able to offer something closer to home for patients."

"Beyond that, the machine that we have, the True Beam, is essentially the top of the line radiation treatment machine," he said.

After some regulatory hurdles that came when Erlanger Health System also expressed interest in opening a cancer treatment center in the area, the state gave Memorial the go-ahead in June to reopen and purchase new radiation equipment. Pending an inspection Wednesday, Memorial will see its first patient in the renovated building Friday.

Contact staff writer Elizabeth Fite at efite@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6673.