News, Announcements and Expert Commentary from Inova

Inova Dedicates Inova Schar Cancer Institute alongside Patients, Cancer Survivors, Community Supporters and Elected Officials

New state-of-the-art cancer center emphasizes patient-centric mission, “Cancer. Care. We do both.”

April 25, 2019, Fairfax, Virginia – On April 24, Inova Health System celebrated its place at the forefront of state-of-the-art cancer care and research with the dedication of the new flagship location of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute. The facility, a department of Inova Fairfax Hospital, is the first in the DC Metro area to offer multi-disciplinary, patient-centric cancer care under one roof. It provides the best of both worlds: a commitment to each and every patient’s well-being, backed by the latest research and advancements in treatment. Inova Schar opens its doors to patients on May 13.

The dedication ceremony featured Inova Schar cancer patients, survivors and community supporters. Distinguished guests delivered remarks, including:

  • Award-winning journalist and cancer survivor Cokie Roberts;
  • Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova;
  • Rep. Gerald Connolly, congressman representing Fairfax County, Prince William County and the City of Fairfax in the US House of Representatives; and
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and his wife and cancer survivor Marcelle Pomerleau Leahy. Sen. and Mrs. Leahy have benefited from screenings and monitoring under the care of Inova Schar physicians.

“At the Inova Schar Cancer Institute on May 13 and every day after that, patients and their loved ones will see signs that paint a new and inspiring message of our commitment: ‘Cancer. Care. We do both,’ and we do them equally,” said J. Stephen Jones, MD, FACS, President and CEO of Inova. “Inova Schar is where we will offer the best talent, the best technology and the most patient-focused cancer care in Greater Washington.”

In 2015, developer and philanthropist Dwight Schar and his wife Martha made a lead gift of $50 million to accelerate the transformation of cancer care and research at Inova. Today, the Inova Schar team – 1,000+ doctors, researchers, nurses, cancer specialists and emotional and wellness support experts – delivers the nation’s highest standard of compassionate, collaborative and holistic cancer care, customized to the needs of each patient.

The new 420,000 square feet facility serves as a hub for Inova’s clinical, research and technological expertise and augments Inova’s existing locations for cancer treatment across Northern Virginia.

In addition to formally opening the new location’s front doors, Jones announced the appointment of John Deeken, MD, as president of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute. Deeken, also medical director for the Inova Schar Head and Neck Cancer Program, had been serving as acting president of Inova Schar.

“When it comes to cancer, personalized care should not just mean taking care of a patient’s medical problems but treating the whole person, and that’s what we do at Inova Schar,” said Deeken. “That’s why we’ve put everything in one state-of-the-art building, bringing doctors and the entire care team to the patients, not the other way around.”

Notable Speaker Remarks

  • “What a great event, to be here for this spectacular institution the day the doors open. The only day that would be better is the day they close because cancer is gone. This group of nurses, doctors and other professionals knows that cancer is not just about the science, the treatments, the side effects. It’s about the whole person. That’s what we have to treat and that’s what this patient-centered institution is doing.” – Cokie Roberts, award winning journalist and cancer survivor
  • “I’ve never been so confident that we may be reaching a cure for cancer. We have to have research, we have to have treatment, we have to have prevention to accomplish this goal. Research can lead to better treatments for cancer but then you have to have access to innovative therapies. And that’s why the opening of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute is so important to the region.” – Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
  • “It is safe to say cancer has touched all of us in one way or another. And we all know how cancer can change your life and the lives of your loved ones. The dedication of everyone involved with the Inova Schar Cancer Institute will have a strong impact on the ability of our children and grandchildren and all our loved ones to lead healthier, cancer-free lives.” – Marcelle Pomerleau Leahy, cancer survivor
  • “Cancer doesn’t respect our political labels. Cancer doesn’t respect our age, our gender, our ethnicity, our religion. We know that institutes like the Inova Schar Cancer Institute are going to help more and more people live with cancer and survive cancer, and have a support network when they are going through their treatment.” – Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va.
  • “We are so fortunate in Fairfax County to have access to such world-class medical care and treatment. Many people struggling with cancer have to fly to far away cities to get treatment. Here, amazing facilities, doctors and cutting-edge technology are right in our own backyard, and that is so incredibly valuable.” – Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

Photos and other materials from the event are available to download here. To learn more about Inova Schar and Inova cancer care services, please visit inova.org/cancer or follow @InovaSchar on Twitter.

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Media Contact: Kelly Schlageter, kelly.schlageter@inova.org

About Inova

Inova is Northern Virginia’s leading nonprofit healthcare provider, employing more than 18,000 team members and serving more than 2 million individuals annually through an integrated network of hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, emergency and urgent care centers, outpatient services and destination institutes, such as the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, Inova Schar Cancer Institute and Inova Neuroscience and Spine Institute. Our mission is to provide world-class healthcare – every time, every touch – to each person in every community we have the privilege to serve. Founded in 1956 as the Fairfax Hospital Association, Inova has grown with its surrounding community and the region to provide a full spectrum of health services, including Northern Virginia’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and Level 4 neonatal intensive care unit. Its hospitals have a total of 1,800 licensed beds.

Four of Inova’s five hospitals have received five-star rankings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; they are the only hospitals in the Washington, DC region to have earned the highest rating from the federal agency. To achieve its mission of providing world-class healthcare to a diverse community, Inova is home to prominent clinicians and scientists, who drive innovation to improve patient care, prevent disease and promote wellness. More information and statistics about Inova can be found at www.inova.org.

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