New TrueBeam Linear Accelerator Allows for More Ease, Precision, Speed in Preventative and Life-Saving Care

BP Lee: “Direct Investment Into More Birthdays”

(November 10, 2020 at 9:40am)

QUEENS, NY – Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee today announced a $5.4 million allocation to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst to fully fund the purchase and installation of a new medical linear accelerator (LINAC) in its oncology unit within months, augmenting the Level 1 trauma center’s ability to provide life-saving, high-quality care to Queens residents battling cancer. This will be the first LINAC in any of the 11 NYC Health + Hospitals citywide.

“Cancer has spared no one in some way, and stolen so many. The battle against cancer is a fierce race against precious time,” said Borough President LEE. “Investing in cutting-edge technology and bringing it right here to Elmhurst Hospital is a direct investment into our families, our futures and more birthdays. Top-of-the-line treatment should and will be available for us right here at home, without having to cross a bridge or go through a tunnel. Queens families are worth it, and so we are bringing precision and speed to give our fight against cancer a stronger chance. Thanks to everyone at Elmhurst Hospital – and the leadership of Israel Rocha – for inspiring the confidence for this public investment into uncompromised, world-class public care.”

“On behalf of the patients and staff at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, I would like to thank Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee for her generous support of our Radiation Oncology program and our goal of developing an Advanced Oncology and Bloodborne Disorders Institute,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Vice President and NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst CEO ISRAEL ROCHA, JR. “Acquiring a new, state-of-the-art LINAC machine will allow us to offer patients the latest and best technology available for treating cancer. This critical investment in upgraded equipment will ensure that cancer patients in the Borough of Queens have access to vital, life-saving treatments and the services they need.”

The best piece of equipment in the industry, the new Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator — a state-of-the-art external beam radiation device that targets and destroys cancerous cells with high-energy x-rays while sparing surrounding healthy tissue — will be installed in early 2021. The existing linear accelerator was originally installed in 2004 and is nearing the end of its useful life. Upon its installation, the innovative radiotherapy technology will be used to image and treat a wide range of cancers, while ensuring faster and more precise care for the patient.

Borough President Lee’s $5.4 million allocation represents the single largest discretionary allocation to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst by the Queens Borough President’s Office in nearly two decades; this also makes up nearly half of the $11 million allocated to the facility since Fiscal Year 2015. Previous Elmhurst Hospital capital projects funded by the Queens Borough President’s Office include Emergency Department renovations (FY15), renovations to labor and delivery rooms (FY19 and FY20) and upgrades to the angiography suite (FY16 and FY18).

This critical investment in NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst’s ability to offer state-of-the-art care reflects the public confidence Rocha, Jr. and all of the personnel and professionals has inspired at the hospital — serving vastly diverse communities totaling approximately one million people — with more than 1,000 patients treated annually through its Cancer Care Program.

Photos and renderings are available here.

About NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, part of the NYC Health + Hospitals health care system, is the major tertiary care provider in the borough of Queens. The 545-bed hospital is a Level 1 Trauma Center, an Emergency Heart Care Station, and a 911-Receiving Hospital. It is a premiere health care organization for key specialties, including surgery, cardiology, women’s health, pediatrics, rehabilitation medicine, renal services, and mental health services. Last year, the hospital received close to 700,000 ambulatory care visits and over 130,000 emergency room visits.

About NYC Health + Hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation, serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.

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