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Memorial Sloan Kettering set to open $180 million center in Nassau County

Construction of Memorial Sloan Kettering's 114,000-square-foot cancer center

Construction of Memorial Sloan Kettering's 114,000-square-foot cancer center in Uniondale has proceeded faster than originally planned, so the opening has been moved from September to April.  Credit: Danielle Silverman

Memorial Sloan Kettering this week said MSK Nassau, its $180 million, 114,000-square-foot cancer facility at the Hub in Uniondale, will open to patients in April.

The cancer center was originally slated to open in September but was completed ahead of schedule. Construction began in January 2017.

The Manhattan-based cancer care system said up to 220 employees will work at MSK Nassau, which will have more than 20 doctors covering disciplines such as medical and radiation oncology, radiology and surgery.

The project was originally estimated to cost close to $140 million but was increased, in part, to accommodate enhanced clinical equipment and health care information technology. The facility has 38 exam rooms, 26 private infusion spaces and a rapid-response laboratory.

A 450-spot, five-story parking garage at MSK Nassau is also set to open in April.

"To have all these cancer services in one place, without space limitations, is something we are very grateful for," said Dr. Pamela Drullinsky, a medical oncologist and the medical site director for MSK Nassau.

While surgeries will still take place at Sloan Kettering's main hospital in Manhattan, most pre- and post-surgical procedures can occur in Nassau County, she added.

Services addressing almost every aspect of cancer care will be available at MSK Nassau, the health system said, including chemotherapy; medical oncology; radiation therapy; radiology, imaging and screening services; personalized medicine; access to clinical trials; genetic testing; support counseling; and follow-up care.

Memorial Sloan Kettering expects to close its Rockville Centre facility at Mercy Medical Center once the new location is open. That location is about 27,000 square feet of space.

Drullinsky said about 20 percent of Memorial Sloan Kettering patients at its Manhattan flagship are from Long Island, and the larger local facility will allow many of them to get more of their care closer to home.

The health system predicted MSK Nassau would see 20,500 clinical visits in 2019. 

Memorial Sloan Kettering isn't the only health system expanding on Long Island.

Stony Brook Medicine recently opened a 240,000-square-foot cancer center on Stony Brook University’s East Campus, while Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip said it plans to open a cancer center at its hospital later this year.

New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health earlier this year said it had revamped the clinical leadership in its cancer care unit. The health system appointed three deputy physicians-in-chief to lead medical, surgical and radiation oncology across the 23-hospital health system.

South Nassau Communities Hospital, part of the Mount Sinai Health System, recently said it received a $1.75 million gift that will be put toward opening a cancer center at its main campus in Oceanside. 

The new cancer center could open in three to five years, said Dr. Rajiv Datta, chairman of the department of surgery and director of cancer services at South Nassau. 

There were 18,000 new cases of cancer per year on Long Island, on average, from 2011 through 2015, according to the most recent data available from the state Department of Health. 

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