Cancer patients no longer have to leave Haverhill to meet with expert doctors and plan treatments.
Haverhill’s Merrimack Valley Hospital has opened a satellite cancer center that is affiliated with Holy Family Hospital’s cancer center in Methuen. Both hospitals are owned by Steward Health Care.
“When it comes to health and wellness, we want anyone needing cancer care to focus on their treatment and recovery, not travel,” said Lester Schindel, president of both Merrimack Valley Hospital and Holy Family Hospital. “And we want them to have access to world-class care right in their own community.
“Our hospitals have the unique opportunity to work together and this effort allows us to bring award-winning services and advanced treatment options closer to our patients and their families,” he said.
In the past, cancer patients living in Haverhill had to travel to Boston, or at least Methuen or Lawrence, to meet with cancer doctors and plan a course of treatment.
Mayor James Fiorentini said giving Haverhill residents access to advanced medical services locally is the main reason he has supported keeping a hospital in the city.
“The city has sacrificed a lot to keep a hospital here, and this is why,” Fiorentini said, “so our residents can get quality medical care without leaving the city.”
The mayor noted his father John Fiorentini, a Haverhill teacher for 37 years, died of cancer at age 83 in 2007.
“My dad spent his last days at Merrimack Valley Hospital, but he had to go outside the city to get his cancer treatments,” the mayor said.
Schindel said board-certified oncologists are now available for new patient consultations and followup visits in Suite 405 at Merrimack Valley Hospital.
Appointments are available on Tuesdays and will increase as needed, Schindel said. Chemotherapy and radiation oncology services will be provided at Holy Family Hospital, he said.