New oncology clinic opens in Elko
RBS Evolution, the business development arm of Radiation Business Solutions, recently opened its third radiation oncology facility called the Northeastern Nevada Radiation Oncology Center in Elko. The center is a partnership with Douglas R. Debenham, MD, board-certified radiation oncologist and Elko-area resident.
According to a release, in keeping with RBSE’s mission of bringing cancer services to patients in rural, underserved areas, the center will provide radiation therapy to patients in the northeastern Nevada area who previously had to travel great distances for treatment.
Radiation treatments are often prescribed five times a week, for several weeks at a time, creating a need for cancer patients to make long daily trips, or secure temporary living arrangements in another city.
At the grand opening ceremony, Dr. Debenham spoke of his commitment to bring cancer care closer to home. “No one who needs radiation therapy should go without treatment because of the burden of travel. We are here to ease that burden, and to give area residents an option to stay close to home for their treatments, closer to family and their support network.” He thanked the community for the warm reception he and his family have been given since moving to the area.
“We’re grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received from the community,” added Greg Merrill, president of RBS Evolution and Radiation Business Solutions. “We have seen tremendous support and encouragement from the local hospital, area physicians, business and community leaders and patients alike. This community deserves a top-notch cancer center; we’re glad to be bringing hope to so many patients and their families.”
Dr. Debenham moved to the Elko area from Anchorage, Alaska. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada School of Medicine. He had helped to establish new cancer centers in Illinois, Alaska, Montana and Arizona. He and his family are now full-time residents. Dr. Debenham is in the new cancer center Monday through Friday, so patients will not need to wait for an appointment. The facility is on the campus of Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital.
“This community is very fortunate to have outstanding medical services in place,” said Dr. Debenham. “My hope is that by adding a local cancer center, patients will be able to stay closer to home for all of their medical needs.”
The center’s location on the campus of Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital allows patients easy access to the hospital’s imaging department, as well as other physicians and services. The center will feature Elekta Synergy, a radiation treatment system with an integrated 3D imaging system that allows physicians to more precisely target tumors with radiation beams.
“We are very pleased to be working with Dr. Debenham,” said Dan Moore, CEO of RBSE. “His vision to build a center in Elko is in line with our mission of providing cancer care to rural, underserved areas. Having a state-of-the-art radiation oncology center in Elko will allow more patients to spend less time traveling to treatments, and more time in the comfort of home.”
Rick Palagi, CEO of Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital added, “NNRH is excited to be able to have the new radiation cancer center on our campus. Very soon, patients will be able to receive their much needed treatments closer to home and we are thrilled to be a part of that and to contribute to the expansion of available cancer treatment services in northeastern Nevada.”
Radiation Business Solutions provides billing and practice management services to oncology practices around the country. In partnership with their physician clients, the company formed RBS Evolution, a joint venture company that builds cancer centers in rural areas that have limited or no access to cancer care.
Radiation Business Solutions and RBSE are both headquartered in Joelton, Tennessee. In addition to the new center in Nevada, RBSE owns and operates two freestanding cancer centers in Alaska.
The cuts would come as a direct result of reduced tax collections caused by business closures across the Silver State due to the COVID-19 pandemic.