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Yale New Haven Health and Hartford HealthCare receive approval to build Proton Center

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

WALLINGFORD, CT (April 12, 2022) – Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS) and Hartford HealthCare (HHC) today announced they have received final state approval to introduce proton beam therapy – a highly advanced form of radiation treatment for cancer – to Connecticut.

The new Connecticut Proton Therapy Center will use highly targeted radiological proton therapy rather than X-rays to treat cancer and is currently only available at a handful of facilities in the Northeast outside of Connecticut. This 25,000-square-foot center will be the first in Connecticut and located at 932 Northrop Road in Wallingford.

“Yale New Haven Health is proud and excited to bring this highly innovative technology to patients in Connecticut and beyond,” said Christopher O’Connor, CEO of Yale New Haven Health. “Our unprecedented collaboration with HHC will allow us to care for patients with cancer in a new and effective way by bringing a life-changing therapy to our state. We are grateful that the state recognized the value of this technology to residents of Connecticut and the importance of this unique collaboration.”

“This is a historic moment for cancer care in Connecticut,” said Hartford HealthCare President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey A. Flaks. “We are thankful for the state’s support of this innovative partnership with Yale New Haven Health and Proton International. Together, we are transforming healthcare. This newly established partnership will not only provide our patients and our communities access to proton therapy – one of the most clinically advanced radiation treatments in the world, but it will make Connecticut a ‘world-class’ destination hub when it comes to state-of-the-art cancer care. I could not be more proud of this partnership that will undoubtedly be a game-changer in the lives of cancer patients.”

Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses a high energy beam of protons to irradiate cancer. The chief advantage of proton therapy over other types of radiotherapy is that the dose is more finely controlled. With proton beam, there is less entry, exit, and scattered radiation so that physicians can safely deliver higher doses of radiation to tumors with fewer side effects.

Proton International (PI) is the project manager and operator for the proposed proton facility. Their role will be to assist with technology selection, financing, and construction, as well as management and operation of the facility.

“Proton International is dedicated to creating access for patients to this important technology,” said Chris Chandler, CEO of Proton International. “Our ability to work with Yale New Haven Health and Hartford HealthCare assures the citizens of Connecticut will have access to a very high-quality cancer treatment program closer to home.”

Proton therapy is appropriate for many solid cancer tumors, including tumors of the brain and central nervous system, eye, gastrointestinal tract, head and neck, liver, lung, prostate, spine and breast. It is particularly beneficial for children, as they are more vulnerable to damage to healthy tissue from radiation.

The Wallingford center, which is projected to open in 2025, will include the latest technology and equipment; treatment room; control room; exam rooms and clinical space. Employees will include physicians and clinical staff from YNHHS and HHC, as well as additional new staff.

Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS), the largest and most comprehensive healthcare system in Connecticut, is recognized for advanced clinical care, quality, service, cost effectiveness and commitment to improving the health status of the communities it serves. YNHHS includes five hospitals – Bridgeport, Greenwich, Lawrence + Memorial, Westerly and Yale New Haven hospitals, several specialty networks and Northeast Medical Group, a non-profit medical foundation with several hundred community-based and hospital-employed physicians. YNHHS is affiliated with Yale University and Yale Medicine, the clinical practice of the Yale School of Medicine and the largest academic multi-specialty practice in New England. Yale New Haven Hospital is the primary teaching hospital of Yale School of Medicine. www.ynhhs.org

With 33,000 colleagues, Hartford HealthCare’s (HHC) unified culture enhances access, affordability, equity and expertise. Its care-delivery system — with more than 400 locations serving 185 towns and cities — includes two tertiary-level teaching hospitals, an acute-care community teaching hospital, an acute-care hospital and trauma center, three community hospitals, a behavioral health network, a multispecialty physician group, a clinical care organization, a regional home care system, an array of senior care services, a mobile neighborhood health program and a comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation network. On average, Hartford HealthCare touches more than 17,000 lives every single day. The unique, system-wide Institute Model offers a unified high standard of care in crucial specialties at hospital and ambulatory sites across Connecticut offering unparalleled expertise at the most affordable cost. The institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular, Ayer Neuroscience, Orthopedics and Tallwood Urology. Visit Hartford HealthCare at www.HartfordHealthCare.org and stay connected through newsletters and social media.

Proton International, www.protonintl.com has an experienced team dedicated to bringing proton therapy to patients. The company works with hospitals and physician groups to develop one- and two-room proton therapy facilities on a turnkey basis. The PI team has developed and operated multiple centers and is currently active on several projects. Proton International completed proton centers at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan University Medical Center in Groningen, The Netherlands, University of Alabama Birmingham, and Delray Beach, Florida; where the centers are currently treating patients. The company has several additional centers under design and construction. PI’s business model ensures that projects are completed on time, on budget, and within the scope and needs of the institution. Services include business planning, organizational structure, financing, building design and construction, installation and commissioning, equipment, staff training and more.

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