Flatbush community members and local pols gathered Saturday to mark the grand opening of a new comprehensive cancer care center in the nabe — Memorial Medical Care, PC,— a joint venture by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and New York Cancer and Blood Specialists.
The two renowned healthcare organizations have joined forces to provide a wide range of patient care at the newly-renovated 39,000-square-foot facility at 2236 Nostrand Avenue, which features physician practice offices with advanced screening capabilities, state-of-the-art therapies, and cutting-edge cancer clinical trials.
Memorial Medical Care, PC, has experts in dozens of types of cancers — from more-common diagnoses like breast and prostate cancer to gynecological cancers, blood cancer, sarcoma, and more. The facility also offers consultations for plastic and reconstructive surgery after treatment.
People who require more complex cancer care, such as surgery, will also have access to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s main hospital in Manhattan and the center’s network of outpatient locations, including in Downtown Brooklyn.
Dr. Oscar Lahoud, a physician practicing at Memorial Medical Care, cares for blood cancer patients, with a special focus on bone marrow transplants and other cellular therapies for patients with blood cancers — particularly lymphoma and myeloma.
“We have patients who travel from all over the world to have access to our most innovative therapies, some of our close neighbors from New York City do not yet travel to MSK for their cancer care, and there are certainly many factors that can explain that, but we hope that by opening such a center in the heart of this community, we will greatly facilitate for all NYC residents to have access to our most advanced treatments, surgeries, bone marrow transplants, cell therapies, and clinical trials,” Lahoud told Brooklyn Paper.
“Being able to provide this new point of access to premium cancer care in the heart of Brooklyn, is a very important event for our amazing neighborhood,” he continued. “We are bringing our expert care closer to home and ensuring fellow Brooklyn residents have access to the treatments and expertise they need.”
While New York City is famous for its medical facilities, most of the city’s most famous hospitals are located in Manhattan – which, previously, forced patients to travel far from home to receive diagnosis and treatment.
Since opening its doors in January, Lahoud said the feedback from patients and their caregivers who have come to the new Flatbush facility for consultations has been “overwhelmingly positive and with our NYCBS collaboration, many patients will not have to travel for care.”
Speaking at Saturday’s ribbon cutting, Council Member Mercedes Narcisse, a former nurse herself, said she hopes the facility serves as a beacon of hope for those diagnosed with cancer.
“I am truly delighted that this new facility is now open right here in Central Brooklyn, providing increased access to the innovation and high-quality care offered by Memorial Sloan Kettering,” said Narcisse. “As a nurse, I know that when it comes to cancer, early detection is key. This new state-of-the-art building will provide the most advanced imaging and screening technology available, giving my constituents and others the opportunity to detect and treat cancer in the hopes of having the best possible outcomes.”
On April 8, the facility will host a free breast cancer screening event, open to all by appointment. A limited number of mammograms will be offered at the event — and Memorial Medical Care plans to host similar screenings for the public once a month.
NYCBS, a community oncology practice, said the new center will increase access to a wide range of health services for the local community, with care provided by a multidisciplinary team of specialists “who utilize a collaborative patient care model resulting in personalized care with the goal of delivering the best possible outcomes.”
Jeff Vacirca, CEO of NYCBS, said the “innovative collaboration” with Memorial Sloan Kettering will give area residents the best of both worlds: “World-class cancer care overseen by some of the best cancer centers in the country, all available closer to home in a comfortable setting.”
“Collaboration is a hallmark of Memorial Sloan Kettering, both inside our walls and out, and we are committed to the community. We look forward to collaborating with local organizations to make a positive impact for all,” a spokesperson for Memorial Sloan Kettering added.