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                            Construction and new program development is moving right along for Astoria's latest offering in high tech cancer care.

The CMH/OHSU Knight Cancer Center is taking shape on the former Astoria High School football field and Columbia Memorial reports in an update that while that building is under construction the programs and workflow for those staffers is taking shape as well.

In an update from the Columbia Memorial Foundation to donors this month it's reported that the hospital's current cancer care team has been meeting to develop workflows for the new computer system that will be used at the center. The team has been making trips to OHSU to work on developing the new radiation oncology program with the goal of making things a little easier for patients and families.

CMH says the new facility will employ more than 30 staff members and that recruitment is well underway. Dr. Amrita Desai, a medical oncologist will be starting work in August working with Dr. Jennifer Lycette to help care for the increased number of patients expected when the center opens. The hospital has interviewed four radiation oncologists for the medical director of radiation oncology with the goal of selecting one of those four candidates by mid-May. As part of the partnership that makes the center possible the physicians will be OHSU employees.

Those who donate to the new radiation oncology center through the Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation will be honored with a beautiful donor recognition art piece created by world-renowned artist Christina Amri. She has created one-of-a-kind donor recognition art all over the world. The piece made just for the new radiation oncology clinic will grace the lobby of the facility.

Local businesses are working on construction such as 2.5 million pounds of concrete brought in from Warrenton for the particle accelerator room. The electrical work is being done by Wadsworth Electric and the lobby lighting is being created by a local artisan. Art plays an important role throughout the building with a dozen local artists involved. 

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