SEARHC Patients Have Access to Radiation Oncology Close to Home

March 25 2014

JUNEAU – The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is pleased to announce that SEARHC patients that require radiation as part of their cancer treatment will be able to remain close to home.

Through a partnership with Southeast Radiation Oncology Center in Juneau, patients will no longer need to travel as far as Anchorage or Seattle to receive radiation, making treatment more convenient, more comfortable and more cost effective.

A diagnosis of cancer is fraught with unknowns, anxiety, and fear. Previously, a cancer diagnosis for a patient living in Southeast Alaska often included the added stress of having to travel a significant distance to receive radiation treatments which typically take place for consecutive days over the course of several weeks. That meant patients would spend substantial time far from home, and quite possibly alone as friends and family members find it difficult to leave their own responsibilities for extended periods of time.

“Our goal is to provide advanced radiation treatment to area patients and to reduce the burden of travel for cancer patients and their families,” said Dr. Eugene Huang, Medical Director of Southeast Radiation Oncology Center in Juneau. “We are very pleased to work with SEARHC to help support the health needs of their patients in the Southeast Alaska region.”

While it is difficult to eliminate patients’ feelings surrounding a cancer diagnosis, and some patients will still have to travel for treatment, being closer creates more opportunities for a connection to home, friends and family. Those things may relieve some of their anxiety and will go a long way toward the ability to focus on taking care of one’s self during treatment.

Medical Director of Primary Care at SEARHC, Dr. Janice Sheufelt said, "We are very pleased to partner with the Southeast Radiation Oncology Center, so that our patients can receive this important medical care as 'close to home' as possible."

SEARHC is grateful for the ability to offer patients such excellent care so close to home and looks forward to a long partnership with Southeast Radiation Oncology Center.