A Closer Look
Welcome to the New BMC Cancer Center.
In the fall of 2013, with the opening of Phase One of the new BMC Cancer and Infusion Center on our Hillcrest Campus, a new era of outstanding cancer care began in the Berkshires. Down to the finest details, it was designed with the needs of cancer patients in mind, a center with state-of-the-art medicine, caring, compassion and comfort for patients and their families.
Berkshire Health Systems is investing $32 million on the complete renovation of the four-story medical tower at the former Hillcrest Hospital and a facelift on the adjacent historic mansion. Paving the way for that investment was the formation of a partnership between BHS, many members of the BMC medical staff and the leading, longest-serving oncology practice in the region, Berkshire Hematology/Oncology.
Now in Place:
- Hematology/Oncology Physician Practice: The 3rd floor of the patient tower has been totally renovated to accommodate the six-provider Hematology/Oncology Practice, which moved to Hillcrest from its Dan Fox Drive location in 2013. This 15,000 square foot area include 15 patient exam rooms, 10 office areas, two conference rooms and the necessary support areas, as well as a waiting area with views toward Onota Lake.
- Infusion & Treatment Service: The 4th floor of the patient tower now features a 30-station Infusion Center. This area is fully equipped for patients who require infusion therapies such as hydration, chemotherapy and soon, essential blood transfusions.
- Oncology Laboratory: The new center includes a full clinical laboratory on-site that provides rapid test results. Specific testing is necessary to make sure patients are safe and ready for their treatments.
- Oncology Pharmacy: The new center features a dedicated, on-site pharmacy staffed by highly-trained oncology pharmacists and a pharmacy technician providing rapid access to medications as needed for patients. DoseEdge medication management technology was added to improve efficiency and patient safety.
- New Entrance and a Two-Story, Glass-Enclosed Lobby: An exterior canopy and new entryway is near completion.. The new lobby will feature a reception area with an abundance of natural light, serving as the bright gateway to the center.
Final Phases Under Way:
- Radiation Oncology: The Center also will become the new home for BMC’s Radiation Oncology Program, currently located at the main hospital. State-of-the-art radiation oncology and diagnostic radiology services will be provided on the ground floor with convenient parking just outside the door. The mobile PET scanning unit, now available at BMC, will be relocated to the Cancer Center. The program’s new technology will include a Varian Linear Accelerator, Accuray Tomotherapy, CT scanner and all necessary support services. The new equipment minimizes the radiation dose to normal tissue, reducing both acute and late side effects of the treatment.
- Multidisciplinary Clinic: Newly diagnosed cancer patients will be able to receive consultation for all specialties (surgical, medical and radiation oncology) in one location, on the same day.
- Health Education and Learning Center (H.E.A.L.): The center’s integrative health services will be provided in a new wellness area called the H.E.A.L. Center. This area will have a meditation room, massage and acupuncture rooms, exercise rehabilitation services, nutrition and counseling offices, and a retail space which allows families to purchase needed supplies on-site. It will include a patient resource library, a conference center and care navigation services.
Creating a place of peace
With its rolling lawns, a healing garden of mixed flowers and foliage, a three-season walking path, and exclusive views of Onota Lake and the Berkshire Hills on the horizon, the Hillcrest location of the BMC Cancer Center is one of the most soothing, serene settings in the area. A distinctive feature of the grounds is an Italianate gazebo and promenade, an ideal spot for exploration and meditation. Seating areas along the path are planned to enhance the experience and ease of use.
A gracious history
The historic architectural gem has a fresh facelift. In 1908, Warren and Evelyn Kimball Salisbury, owners of the KimballPiano & Organ Co. of Chicago, bought the lakeside Taconic Farm property and erected an elegant 67-room mansion of stucco and stone, graced by a columned front entrance. They would call it Tor Court, the “tor” being a Scottish term broadly translated as “a hill overlooking a lake.” It became Hillcrest Hospital in 1950, and merged with BMC in 1996.