With the snip of a giant red ribbon, San Joaquin Community Hospital celebrated the long-awaited opening of its new cancer and outpatient surgery center Tuesday morning.
The AIS Cancer Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital has been open since late April, but Mayor Harvey Hall, hospital administrators and donors gathered with the center's staff to memorialize the occasion this week.
The four-story, $36.2 million, 60,000-square-foot building stands across Chester Avenue from the hospital's main building.
Dr. Oscar Streeter Jr., the center's medical director, said the occasion was "just incredibly exciting."
"We're actually getting new patients every day. Some patients that have gone to Los Angeles are now coming in asking for treatment at our center," Streeter said.
Streeter said the center's patients will benefit for the academic research and connections that he and his fellow oncologist at the facility, Dr. Vikas Ghai, boast.
The center was orignally predicted to open at the start of the year but construction delays and an investigation by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services held up the project. Last month, a hospital spokesman said the hospital was cleared in a visit by inspectors for the federal agency.
With the cancer center up and running, the hospital is working on another new building that will stand beside the recent addition.
That 60,000-square-foot, three-story building will house a Quest Imaging center and other offices, hospital spokesman Jimmy Phillips said. Construction on the foundation has begun and the second building is anticipated to open next year.