Mary Dow Center for Cancer Care Debuts New Facility 

Everyday 15-30 patients visit the Mary Dow Center for Cancer Care at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth, and these days there’s more room for those patients.A $3.4 million facelift has brought upon big changes for the Mary Dow Center.”We can actually double or triple the number of patients we see because of our increase in space,” said Jayne Wixon, Clinical Nurse Manager at the Mary Dow Center.On December 17, the renovated center opened for patients. Staff held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday.After adding 5,000 square feet of space and some major upgrades, the cancer center at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital is no longer worried about patients having enough privacy.Wixon said, “Privacy was a huge issue. For the nurses talking on the phone to patients, the secretaries registering people arranging tests and things for them.”And it’s no longer worried about patients having enough personal space.”It used to be to get into the chairs, as we call them, you sometimes had to step over a secretary, that kind of thing. It was that tight,” said John Van Pelt, a retired pediatrician and former patient at the Mary Dow Center.Now the center actually has room to grow.It has private infusion rooms for patients, with room for family members to sit with them, as well as nine infusion bays with a more communal feel.Wixon said, “Some folks like to plan their treatments, so they can be here with someone they met along the way. They really gain so much support from eachother.”But with all of this change, hospital staff say the quality of care remains the same.”It is second to none, not CancerCare of Maine or Dana Farber in Boston. The community should know they can come here and get that excellence in care,” said Wixon.It’s a comfort for the Downeast community to have this cancer center so close to home, now with an even more comfortable and homey feel.