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New infusion center opens at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital

Sam Corey
Staff Writer
Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital staff tour the new infusion center, which boasts expanded space and sweeping views of Grass Valley, for chemotherapy and blood transfusion patients, Wednesday.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com

For an opening ceremony, everything was in place.

The red ribbon, over-sized scissors, electric candles — even a harpist was playing light music in the background. The Wednesday event was meant to celebrate the long-awaited opening of a transfusion center in Building 3 of Grass Valley’s Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.

The introduction of the event brought people together, gathering around a handful of public speakers who expressed gratitude for the new venture.

The center includes 12 treatment chairs, a private room for injections and a “nourishment center” for about 9,500 patients each year, according to a statement from the hospital. Despite its newly painted blue and white walls, modern computer monitors and the absence of televisions, the most peaceful aspect of the space is its surrounding environment, according to Lauren Swinney, the manager of the infusion center. Outside, one can see a stand-alone American flag sitting before a deluge of trees that rest on rolling hills overlooking the hospital.

“This is the best view in the hospital,” said Swinney.

The Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation raised about $280,000 to construct the infusion center, which totaled about $1 million, according to Kimberly Parker, executive director of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation.

“It was primarily individuals giving” to make the project come to fruition, said Parker.

“Trying to get the funding, get the design, and it’s a long lengthy process through the federal and state agencies to get here,” said Edward Sylvester, board chair of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.

The new center will provide a slew of help for patients, according to Swinney. Infusion therapy, she says, provides treatments for patients with cancer, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, multiple sclerosis and more. Before the new center, patients receiving this care were a bit cramped, she says.

“Right now we are in a very crowded area,” said Swinney. After Wednesday, patients will have 80 square feet to themselves, not to mention a roaming harpist to serenade the area, and an on-staff pharmacist.

Sylvester, a cancer survivor himself, was pleased with the relaxing and spacious new environment, especially for individuals enduring a difficult period in their lives.

“I know the anxiety and guilt having to go through (cancer),” he said. “So having a comfortable area for people to talk and share their experience was the goal here.”

You can reach Sam Corey at 530-477-4219 or by email at scorey@theunion.com.

Note: This story was changed to accurately reflect Ed Sylvester’s position.


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