Patients no longer need to leave the Palouse for most oncology services with the opening of Palouse Oncology and Hematology in August.

The full-time clinic is at Gritman Medical Center’s Medical Office Building at 803 S. Main St., Suite 210, in Moscow. It is operated by Palouse Specialty Physicians — a collaboration among Gritman Medical Center, Pullman Regional Hospital and Whitman Hospital and Medical Center in Colfax — through a partnership with Cancer Care Northwest.

Palouse Specialty Physicians Executive Director Lindy Wells said staff from St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston offered oncology services, the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, one day a week in Moscow.

Wells said the new full-time clinic allows patients quick access to treatment, which she said hopefully leads to better outcomes.

Before the clinic opened, Wells said patients often had to leave the area for treatment and perhaps find temporary housing accommodations, which can be obstacles to starting treatment immediately.

“It’s keeping community members close to their homes so that when they are going through something like that, they can sleep in their own bed at night as opposed to having to look for a hotel or outside services that, you know, add extra stress to an already stressful situation,” Wells said.

A new infusion center is co-located with the oncology clinic, making access for cancer patients and others who require infusion therapy convenient, said Sacha Smith, Palouse Specialty Physicians director of operations.

Wells said Palouse Oncology and Hematology provides almost all oncology services, except for radiation therapy, which she said she hopes is offered in the future.

Dr. Srijana Rai, the oncologist staffed at Palouse Oncology and Hematology, did her fellowship in hematology, the study of the cause and treatment of blood diseases, and oncology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

In addition to her daytime hours, Rai will also offer on-call care after hours, which Smith said patients have never had before.

Smith said sometimes emergencies arise when patients undergo treatment, forcing them to the emergency room and then potentially to a medical facility in another region. Now, Rai can assist with those emergencies when she is on-call.

An open house for Palouse Oncology and Hematology is scheduled from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 5.

Community members will be able to tour the new clinic. The CEOs of Gritman Medical Center, Pullman Regional Hospital and Whitman Hospital and Medical Center, and officials from Cancer Care Northwest, will be in attendance for a ribbon cutting.

Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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