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Billings Clinic celebrates 10th anniversary of cancer center

Posted at 6:37 PM, Sep 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-14 22:23:56-04

The Billings Clinic Cancer Center opened 10 years ago and has found treatments that help patients around the country.

On Saturday, some of the center's patients joined in the 10th anniversary celebration at the Billings Clinic Commons on Saturday.

"And you are not expected to do it all by yourself," said Joan Fritz, who was a cancer center patient. "There are others helping out every step of the way and I was not alone on this journey."

"It's like walking into my family's house and being wrapped and embraced by everybody," said Trisha Craft, a cancer center patient.

Patients talked about the center, which was designed to make them comfortable while going through treatment.

The center started in 2009 and new treatments were part of the vision.

Dr. John Schallenkamp talked about Car T-cell therapy and the nurse navigation program.

He says Billings Clinic is at the top for a community of this size and even larger and just below comprehensive cancer centers that are affiliated with medical schools.

"You know by definition, we can't be there, not yet," Schallenkamp said. "But when it comes to the next step, what we offer here is really hard to say that everyone's doing what we're. because they're not. we're putting a lot of resources into this. the support we have for the patients and the providers is phenomenal. it's a broad package."

The Billings Clinic Cancer Center cost $31.9-million in 2009 and sees about 1,600 patients every year.