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Hospital receives $1.2 million bequest for advanced technology

New Britain [April 03 2008] - A $1.2 million bequest to The Hospital of Central Connecticut is helping with the purchase of highly advanced technology that will be used to treat brain tumors and other cancers without an incision.

The gift, from the estate of Eileen Johnson, is helping to fund the purchase of the Novalis® radiosurgery system, which is expected to be in use by the fall.

“The Hospital of Central Connecticut is very grateful to the Johnson Family for this most generous donation,” says David Obedzinski, chief development officer. “Their vision and generosity in keeping the hospital in their estate plans demonstrates their commitment to strengthen our hospital.”

Mrs. Johnson and her husband, Joseph, of Plainville, were generous contributors to the hospital and its programs over the years and had previously informed the hospital about their planned gift, making them members of the hospital’s 1899 Society. Eileen passed away in January 2007, and Joseph a few years prior.

The hospital decided to apply the gift toward acquisition and installation of the Novalis shaped-beam surgery system to be housed in The American Savings Foundation Radiation Oncology Treatment Center at the New Britain General campus. The center is currently being expanded to house the unit and treatment area. Total project cost is $5.8 million.

The state-of-the-art Novalis technology conducts non-invasive stereotactic radiosurgery, a treatment form that uses highly focused radiation for tumors and lesions. Treatment does not involve incisions, and the patient experiences little pain and no blood loss. The system can also be used to treat tumors near the spinal cord and in other areas of the body.

“The system uses a high-powered, shaped radiation beam that pinpoints the exact size and shape of a tumor, so we can precisely target treatment while sparing healthy, surrounding tissue,” says Joseph Aferzon, M.D., chief of Neurosurgery.

“Because the system is non-invasive, it also allows us to treat some patients with inoperable lesions, including those whose medical conditions don’t allow us to perform higher-risk surgical procedures,” adds neurosurgeon Ahmed Khan, M.D.

A treatment plan is developed using a patient’s CT and MRI scan results. During treatment, the patient lies on the table while the tumor is treated.

The Novalis system offers advantages over other knifeless surgery systems like Gamma Knife or CyberKnife, particularly in treating tumors close to the spine.

It is the latest addition to the hospital’s comprehensive line of cancer services, which includes a variety of advanced radiation oncology technologies and procedures to treat many different cancers. At its George Bray Cancer Center, the hospital offers chemo- and other therapies using the latest anti-cancer drugs and treatments. The hospital also provides inpatient care in its oncology unit.

Contact: Kimberly Gensicki, 860-224-5900, ext. 6507














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