Health: MRH Infusion Center provides chemotherapy close to home
For Craig Press
Memorial Regional Health’s Infusion Center is an important piece of the treatment puzzle for many Craig-area cancer patients. Those who need chemotherapy can have it done locally, saving them a two-and-a-half-hour drive each way to and from Grand Junction or Glenwood Springs.
The Infusion Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Fridays as needed. Patients come the center for a variety of treatments, including:
- Blood transfusions
- Antibiotic therapy
- Iron infusions
- Biological therapy medications for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, and other autoimmune disorders
- Osteoporosis treatments
- Hydration therapy
- Port and PICC line maintenance
Kendra Rollison started as the new Memorial Regional Health Infusion Center Manager in July.
She’s been a registered nurse for just over six years now, with experience in urgent care, post-anesthesia care, orthopedics and medical-surgical. She’s impressed with MRH’s Infusion Center and oncology services.
“It’s super nice,” she said of the state-of-the-art infusion facility, which opened in 2019 and is inside the MRH Medical Office Building. “We have five bays plus two private rooms. Every patient gets their own area with a chair and TV. Plus out the windows, the views of Craig are incredible.”
Because some treatments take multiple hours to infuse, the Infusion Center offers patients free breakfast and/or lunch while they’re receiving their care.
“They can order whatever they want from our cafeteria,” Rollison said, “including special orders. It’s a really nice extra. We like to take good care of our patients.”
Former manager and longtime MRH nurse Marie Kettle remains an integral part of the team.
“She really did help build this Infusion Center,” Rollison said. “She’s served this community so well.”
The Infusion Center and Oncology Care
In addition to chemotherapy services, MRH helps coordinate care. Physician Assistant Bridget Barnhardt is available to help local cancer patients get established with a Valley View Hospital provider. VVH oncologist Dr. Stephen Mayer travels from Glenwood Springs to MRH once a month to see patients in person here.
Oncologist Dr. Sudy Jahangiri, from SCL Health Medical Group, in Grand Junction, also cares for many Craig-area cancer patients. She does telehealth visits with MRH patients two days a month.
Most imaging for cancer patients can be done at MRH, as can blood draws for laboratory work.
And MRH Care Coordinator Jenell Lazarony is available to help families affected by cancer with anything they need to support their wellbeing, including transportation and financial assistance.
All the MRH staff who help care for local cancer patients work as a team, helping ensure that community members receive excellent care close to home.
New to Craig
Rollison’s husband, Austin Lattin, works for the BLM and was transferred to Craig, and Rollison was happy to find a good fit for herself at MRH. The couple, who just got married, moved here from Boise, Idaho, with their black lab, Kash. They enjoy hiking, golfing and skiing — “anything outdoors. We’re loving it so far,” she said.
“The Infusion Center is a great place to work,” Rollison said. “The facilities are beautiful, and the people are wonderful. And of course, we provide excellent quality care. I’m grateful we’re able to provide this service to the Craig community.”
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