New Bern celebrates opening of comprehensive cancer center


NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — People in the east are getting a first look at the new comprehensive cancer center at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern.

Donors and others vital to opening the center celebrated their efforts on Thursday night.

The $37 million project has been in the works since 2014.

After six years, the center is finally opening becoming a beacon of hope for patients fighting cancer in the east.

Hospital leaders say battling cancer is a team effort.

“It affects the family,” said Ray Leggett, President CEO of CarolinaEast Health System. “It affects everybody: friends, relatives, neighbors, and of course a whole team of clinical people who are involved in annual care.”

Every year, the team at CarolinaEast Health System sees over 700 new cases from Craven, Jones, and Pamlico counties.

“Cancer doesn’t discriminate,” said Leggett. “It doesn’t care if you’re tall, short, rich, or poor. It’s hard to find a family that hasn’t been affected by cancer.”

The SECU Comprehensive Cancer Center features the essential parts of treatment like examination rooms and an area for infusion therapy.

It also has a small boutique and nutrition classes designed with patients, and their families, in mind.

“The first thing we did was put together a group of cancer patients and ask them what it was like,” said Leggett. “What was it like when you were going through your treatment? What do you wish was available? What people do that was a mistake?”

The facility is also partnering with the UNC Cancer Center.

Workers don’t just plan to wage the cancer fight with their patients.

They plan to use research to open another front in the battle against the disease.

“We hope one day there is going to be a cure, and we can turn this into a big tennis court or something,” said Leggett. “We want to be very involved in that. We want to be a part of the cure.”

The center is set to see its first group of patients on Monday.

The public is welcome to see the new facility during the official ribbon cutting on January 25.

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