RUMFORD – Rumford Hospital board members, staff, donors and the public will get a chance from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, to see the newly renovated space on the hospital’s third floor that will soon become an expanded oncology suite. People may drop in, tour the new suite and have light refreshments. An informal rededication ceremony will take place at 6 p.m.

Most of the cost of renovation and furnishings for the new suite were provided by the community through gifts to the Rumford Hospital annual appeal. “We have also had many generous memorial gifts,” said Lisa Hodgkins, RN. “Now our community can actually see what great gifts they have given to our patients.”

In addition to providing chemotherapy and hematology services, the oncology staff serves patients who require other infusion treatments. Since the service at Rumford Hospital began in 1997, the number of patients has tripled, so it is fitting that the new suite is three times the size of the old one.

The old oncology suite had three chairs or treatment stations; the new boasts six. There’s a stretcher for patients who are not able to sit up for their long treatments. There’s a new handicapped accessible bathroom and a private consultation room. In addition to a private waiting room, there is also more space for patients’ families and friends to keep them company in the treatment room.

The new suite will still be called the Lariviere Oncology Suite in memory of David Lariviere, whose family raised most of the funds for the first infusion treatment space, which was dedicated in 1999.

Hodgkins has been with the service since it began. Kate Ballou, RN, joined her four years ago. Joanne LaPointe and Mary Moore serve as secretaries in the unit. Rumford Hospital Pharmacist Gus Carlson is often in the suite, delivering the infusion medications and talking with patients about their treatment. Oncologist Dr. Nicholette Erickson, MD, sees patients in the adjacent specialty clinics one day each week and consults with the nurses and pharmacist on a regular basis.

“We are really looking forward to showing off the new suite,” said Hodgkins, “especially to people in the community who have been so generous with their gifts.”

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