From MedStar Health:
Last spring, over 600 Harford County residents attended the community open house at the MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus to see the shiny new bedless hospital and urgent care. Among the guests: Anita Owens, of Fallston.
While throngs of visitors toured the sunlit center from room to room, embracing its location on Route 924 at Plumtree Road, Charlsetta Holmes, known as Charli, was a short distance away, working in her office at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The convenience of top quality healthcare couldn’t have been further from her mind.
Anita however, was so impressed with the 100,000 square feet of comfort and technology, and its location, she promptly changed primary care physicians and scheduled her annual routine check-up.
Within days and weeks of the opening respectively, both Charli and Anita would each get devastating news: they had breast cancer.
“Having this facility here makes it more convenient for our patients to get treatment in their community without having to drive to Baltimore,” said Dr. Suman Rao, MD, chief of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center’s Thoracic Oncology & Hematology at Bel Air. “When facing a devastating diagnosis of cancer, patients are assured they are getting the same state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment capabilities as any other major cancer care center.”
“MedStar Bel Air saved my life,” Anita said. “They found the cancer, treated me, and I am cancer free today because of them.”
“This experience for me, was holistic,” Charli explained. “I wasn’t just going there for medicine. Everyone at Bel Air from the nurses, staff, oncologists, were very informative. They offered support, literature, brochures… they provided beauty tips; how to wear scarves and wigs, apply make-up, physical therapy. They did all they could to provide support. Everything I needed was in the same place.”
Since its April 12th opening last year, more than 30,000 Harford residents have received treatment in specialty areas including cardiology, imaging, outpatient surgery, primary care, rehabilitation, urgent care, women’s health and the comprehensive cancer center, where Anita and Charli received chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Last month, Charli received her final radiation treatment on her 60th birthday, and celebrated the milestone, cancer free.
“As a physician, one of the best advantages to working in this facility is being able to coordinate high quality care efficiently for my patients,” said Dr. Melanie Slack, site medical director. “I have had many instances where I see a patient in my office, send them immediately downstairs for a radiologic study, and that same afternoon, am able to discuss the results with the radiologist and arrange for a specialist consultation. It makes a huge difference to the patients, knowing that all of their doctors are communicating and working together as a team.”