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Radiation Oncology Opens At Sonora Regional Cancer Center

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Sonora, Ca — The new Radiation Oncology division at the Sonora Regional Cancer Center opened today and patients have started receiving treatment.

The Radiation Oncology service was temporarily closed in July, after the hospital ended its partnership with Denver based Oncure, and decided to bring the service under hospital management.

?We will be able to provide the same type of cancer treatment that was available prior,? says Doug Duffield, SRMC Vice President of Business Planning and Development. ?It will be done on a brand new, state-of-the-art linear accelerator, which allows us to perform the advanced treatment protocols that are available today. We can also upgrade that equipment in the future as new treatments become available.?

A number of new staff members have now joined the Sonora Regional Cancer Center. Mihoko Fujita, MD, PhD is seeing cancer patients needing radiation therapy. Dr. Fujita comes from Howard University Hospital in Washington DC, where she served as both Program Director of the Radiation Oncology Residency program and Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology.

The Medical Center also recruited Robert D´Aquisto, MD, a Medical Oncologist who has joined Thomas Drakes, MD to diagnose and treat cancer patients. Dr. D´Aquisto was formerly at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and most recently in private practice in Modesto.

Additionally, a number of staff members from the former radiation oncology program have accepted positions in the new radiation oncology clinic. Georg Weidlich, PhD, physicist, worked with the Medical Center on setting up the new program and ensured it received state licensing. Weidlich will also continue to provide ongoing treatment oversight. Diane Nicolai, dosimetrist, has 26 years of experience in providing hands-on radiation therapy and cancer care. Chris Evans, Radiation Therapist, has been working with cancer patients for more than 15 years. Carol Mahan, Office Coordinator, has 10 years of medical office experience. Connie Walther, RN, was recruited to Sonora Regional Radiation Oncology with 8 years of experience treating cancer patients.

The State of California, Department of Health Services approved licensing for the new program on November 3rd. Over the past four months, patients have been traveling out of county to receive treatment.

Written by BJ Hansen