Lewiston, ME — This morning, U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Aging Committee, delivered remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Central Maine Healthcare (CMH) Cancer Care Center. The $38 million project brings together cutting-edge oncology services in a convenient location on the Central Maine Medical Center campus in Lewiston. The accessible, centralized location will benefit patients who will not have to make their way to different parts of the campus for their care.
“I doubt that there is anyone here today whose life has not been affected by cancer, either personally or in a loved one. Against this scourge that causes so much pain and suffering, so much fear and uncertainty, and so much heartbreak, CMH and the Central Maine Cancer Institute fight back with skill, technology, dedication, and compassion,” said Senator Collins. “By consolidating all oncology services in one new building with state-of-the-art equipment, patients will have convenient access to the highest quality care close to home. This centralized location will enhance the Cancer Institute’s outstanding multispecialty, team-based care.”
With more than 8,000 new diagnoses each year, cancer incidence in Maine is above the national average. By consolidating all oncology services at CMH, the renovation will allow patients to receive care without having to travel to other care providers, saving the community nearly $1 million annually in travel costs and preventing patients from having to drive more than 35,000 hours each year.
State regulators gave the final approval to the project in April. Construction is slated to begin Nov. 2 and to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
Senator Collins has been a longstanding champion for greater investments in biomedical research, oncology services, and telehealth infrastructure. Through the CARES Act, she has helped secure more than $490 million in COVID-19 relief for Maine health care providers, including $33 million for the CMH hospital system. In addition, Senator Collins successfully advocated for a $2.6 billion increase for the NIH in the fiscal year 2020 appropriations package.