A new cancer center in Brooklyn is providing much-needed, high tech care to borough residents. NY1’s Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
It has the look and feel of a spa, but it’s a state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility. The Maimonides Breast Cancer Center is the first of its kind in Brooklyn.
"The need for cancer specialists in Brooklyn is severe. Brooklyn is one of America's largest cities and it probably has the fewest cancer specialists of any large city in this country," said Dr. Patrick Borgen of Maimonides.
The nearly $9 million center features a mammography machine that provides three-dimensional images and one of the largest and fastest MRI units in the city. As a personal touch, it comes complete with headphones, allowing patients to listen to songs from their iPod while being scanned.
Patients say details like that make their treatment more comforting.
"The first day I walked through these doors, I knew it was the place I needed to be treated," said patient Nicole Donlon.
"This place is a sanctuary. This place makes you feel like every day is a gift," said patient Lydia Falco.
A financial gift to the facility came from the family of prominent Brooklyn businessman Gilbert Rivera, who died of colon cancer four years ago at the age of 48. On Wednesday night, his wife and two sons were there as the building was named for him.
"The opening of this new breast cancer center for the benefit of the community is the best and most meaningful way for me to honor and pay tribute to a great man, my late husband Gil," said Erminia Rivera.
While the first floor of the Gilbert Rivera Pavilion is dedicated to providing cancer services to women, Maimonides plans to expand to the upper floors to treat other forms of cancer in the near future.
The Maimonides Breast Cancer Center is now open seven days a week.