At the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center, there is no better phrase then “cancer free and finished with treatment.” Patients who receive this good news ring a large, silver bell to celebrate. Everyone within earshot joins in this special moment alongside the patient with loud cheers and claps. This is one of the many ways Markey provides compassionate care to cancer patients and it’s one reason TP Mechanical was honored to have a role in the recent brachytherapy expansion project (part of an overall expansion of radiation medicine at UK Healthcare).
The project, which is a 7,000 square foot expansion, included excavation, expansion, and modification of an existing basement treatment room and waiting area space between the Markey Cancer Center and Pavilion H. It also includes installation of a new Varian linear accelerator to go with the center’s existing two. The linear accelerator (LINAC) customizes high energy x-rays or electrons to conform to a tumor’s shape and destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. This state-of-the-art equipment enables Markey to provide the latest care to cancer patients and allows more patients to be seen in less time.
TP Mechanical provided all of the prefabricated plumbing and HVAC piping in the new addition, which was brought in on racks to hang all in one piece. They also installed all air handling units and duct work through the new portion of the hospital. Every aspect of the project is precisely designed around the cancer treatment equipment for maximum efficiency and highest quality patient care. Throughout the project, an Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) barrier has kept the construction area from infiltrating the existing and operational hospital space which has eliminated treatment downtime. The project is nearing 80 percent completion, with an expected completion date of June 1.
Aside from the tremendous opportunity to contribute to Kentucky’s only NCI-designated cancer center, members of the TP Mechanical team have gained much from being on this project. Recently, an older gentleman rang the big silver bell and everyone in the room and in the adjacent construction area stopped to cheer and high five in celebration of this man and his family. Dennis Warren, superintendent on the project for TP Mechanical, said, “This is why we do what we do.”
Other Team Members:
Rodney Bishop, Project Manager
Dennis Warren, Superintendent
David Lockhart, Chief Radiation Therapist at the University of Kentucky Medical Center