Last week, Acting Borough President Sharon Lee announced a $5.4 million allocation to the hospital to purchase and install a new medical linear accelerator (LINAC), which will help the Level 1 trauma center’s ability to provide care to cancer patients.
According to the BP’s office, this will be the first LINAC in any of the city’s 11 public hospitals.
“Investment in cutting-edge technology and bringing it right here to Elmhurst Hospital is a direct investment into our families, our futures and more birthdays,” Lee said. “Top-of-the-line treatment should and will be available for us right here at home without having to cross a bridge or go through a tunnel.
“Queens families are worth it,” she added, “and so we are bringing precision and speed to give our fight against cancer a stronger chance.”
The Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator targets and destroys cancerous cells with x-rays while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. The machine will be used to image and treat a wide range of cancers.
The LINAC will be installed in early 2021. The hospital’s existing device was originally installed in 2004 and is nearing the end of its useful life.
The $5.4 million investment is the largest single discretionary allocation to Elmhurst Hospital by Borough Hall in nearly two decades. Since Fiscal Year 2015, the Borough President’s Office has allocated $11 million to the hospital for projects like renovations to the Emergency Department, labor and delivery rooms, and upgrades to the angiography suite.
“Acquiring a new, state-of-the-art LINAC machine will allow us to offer patients the latest and best technology available for treating cancer,” said Israel Rocha, CEO of Elmhurst Hospital. “This critical investment in upgraded equipment will ensure that cancer patients in the borough of Queens have access to vital, life-saving treatments and the services they need.”