Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care:

Ten years of teamwork at your service

"Providing the best care possible to patients and families is what MaineGeneral strives to deliver; more services, hope and healing are now available to our community close to home."
Chuck Hays, President & CEO of MaineGeneral Health.

In its tenth year of service to the greater Kennebec Valley region, the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care (HACCC) continues to provide state-of-the-art oncology care in a soothing, patient- and family- centered environment. Here’s more about how we’re caring for you.

Radiation Oncology Gets State-of-the-Art Upgrade

In January, the Radiation Oncology department welcomed the first of two state-of-the-art linear accelerators with a second coming online this fall. This significant investment brings the newest generation of radiation treatment technology close to home where you heal faster and more comfortably. The new technology offers greater precision, safety and speed and the ability to treat brain and liver lesions and tumors close to the spine with stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).

“The extra accuracy the new machine provides lets us expand into some very specialized treatments. The advanced technology also offers increased safety throughout treatment so these machines are a big deal.”

Dr. Grenville Jones, radiation oncologist

These accelerators use the newest computer technologies to ensure safer, more efficient care and numerous other benefits. Until now, some of these advanced techniques were only available in Boston.

“Depending on the type of cancer we’re treating, we can reduce the number of treatment sessions, deliver a higher dose and actually have a more effective treatment than what the patient would have had through a prolonged therapy with more sessions,” said Chief Medical Physicist Glenn Collins. “A shorter course of treatment also makes it more convenient for the patient.”

MGH & Dana-Farber:
New Partnership Enhances Access

As an affiliate of MaineHealth, MaineGeneral Health has entered into a new partnership with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

With this new collaboration, the HACCC will provide patients, their families and the community with:

  • Enhanced access to services and clinical research;
  • A seamless transition for patients moving between care sites; and
  • Improved communication among clinicians.

Point-of-Entry Navigation Improves Patient Experience

Funded by the John T. Gorman Foundation, the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care implemented a Point-of-Entry (POE) Patient Navigator Service in 2016.

The pieces of a cancer diagnosis and treatment puzzle are many; the navigators’ role is to help put them all together, supporting patients in coordinating their clinical care and wading through the emotional,psychosocial, spiritual, financial and other aspects.

Having one person as a point of contact in a much larger system is expected to have many positive impacts: streamlining processes results in fewer complications, emergency department (ED) visits or long-term hospital stays; it reduces patient fear, duplicative tests and appointments and increases referrals to programs that assist in recovery and symptom management.

“Our philosophy of care is rooted in the idea that a patient should never be alone on his/her cancer journey,” said Dr. Polkinghorn, HACCC oncology medical director. “A team approach allows us to surround a patient with respectful care and open communication, creating comfort and confidence. Treatment is more than clinical; their experience matters, too. Every patient is important to us and this approach helps us convey how much we take that to heart.”

POE patient navigators, from left, are Kristen Langlois, RN; Nicole Brown, RN; and Kerri Medeiros, RN.

The STAR Program (Survivorship Training and Rehab) is a cancer rehabilitation program that extends the multidisciplinary team model that drives the HACCC’s patient centered approach to care. STAR engages physical and occupational therapists, nurses, speech pathologists and registered dieticians. The goal of STAR is to help cancer survivors regain their pre-diagnosis level of conditioning and to address treatment side effects such as fatigue, weakness, balance challenges, musculoskeletal pain and difficulties with memory, speech or swallowing.

MaineGeneral is the first hospital in Maine to be STAR Program–certified. Programs like STAR provide patients with continuity of care, ensuring they not only survive their encounter with cancer but regain physical, mental and emotional strength and confidence in the days, weeks and months that follow.

Did you know...

  • 70 percent of cancer patients receive radiation therapy. Radiation disrupts DNA in cancer cells, blocking their ability to divide into more cancerous cells.
  • While cancer is the secondleading cause of death in America, survival rates for cancer patients have risen significantly — from 50 percent in 1977 to 68 percent in 2006.
  • In 2014 MaineGeneral diagnosed and treated 1,118 patients with malignancies; 983 of the cases reported were newly diagnosed. The five largest diagnostic areas were: breast (200), lung (165), prostate (78),colorectal (65) and bladder (45).


Thank You

Who said thank-you notes are a thing of the past?!

Charlotte, age 9, recently penned this priceless note to our Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care team to thank them for taking such great care of her mom.Charlotte earns an allowance which she divvies up between three buckets: savings,spending and charity. She generously put her 21 charity dollars toward thanking her mom’s caretakers and helping others. Maybe we should all take note!

MaineGeneral Health
Office of Philanthropy

Physical location
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Augusta, ME  04330-8067
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