Dr. Claudia Perez-Tamayo described the Heartland Cancer Center as a “house of blessings.” That house will broaden its blessings with a 6,000 square foot expansion project that will add state-of-the-art equipment and more infusion space to guarantee comfort and relaxation during chemotherapy at 204 Cleveland Street. Construction will begin this fall and will take a year. “There’s nothing like having your loved one at home with doctors and nurses who care for the patient,” said Dr. Perez-Tamayo. “You know they are receiving. g the best that medicine can bring to them. It gives great comfort to the patient and family.” The joint venture is between Central Care Cancer Center and Centura Health. Central Care is a comprehensive oncology group that has served HCC for the last decade; Centura is the umbrella organization for St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center and St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City. “It’s a partnership between St. Catherine’s, Centura Health and St. Rose coming together under the flag of the Heartland Cancer Center,” said Scott Taylor, president c and chief executive officer of St. Rose and St. Catherine. “It assures that the residents of central Kansas and Great Bend will have access to high-quality, state-of-the-art compassionate cancer care. It’s a very important part of Centura’s mission to improve the health of the communities we serve.” Dr. Perez-Tamayo picked up a shovel for Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony, joining Kent Carmichael, architect, Gibson Mancini Carmichael & Nelson; Scott Taylor; Alfredo Lopez, Central Care CEO: Linda Ferris, Centura Health; and Great Bend Mayor Mike Allison. The Central Care oncologists who treat patients at HCC are Claudia Perez-Tamayo, M.D., and Thomas Hegarty, M.D., radiation oncologists; and Mark Fesen, M.D., and Greg Nanney, M.D., medical oncologists. Lori Williams is Central Care’s physician assistant. “They are truly a fine group of professionals,” Taylor said. “Centura Health is very proud to be associated with them. The expansion of the facility will assure that greater number of patients can look to Great Bend for their care. They can receive that care close to home.” Mark Mingenback, St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center executive director, said the businesses have learned to partner to benefit everyone. “Cancer has affected every family,” he said. “It strikes home. This partnership is valuable for all the cancer patients that we take care of.” Great Bend Mayor Mike Allison assisted with the original ground-breaking 11 years ago. “I knew it would help a lot of people to not travel out-of-town and it would be a benefit to the community,” he said. “They treat patients and make them feel better. There are more patients to treat. They always get good treatment.” St. Rose and St. Catherine are affiliated with The University of Kansas Cancer Center and its outreach arm, the Midwest Cancer Alliance. Centura connects individuals and families across western Kansas and Colorado with more than 6,000 physicians, 15 hospitals, seven senior-living communities, physician practices and clinics, and home-care and hospice services.