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April 12, 2022

HHC, Yale New Haven win approval for new radiation therapy center

Photo | Greg Bordonaro Hartford HealthCare's headquarters in downtown Hartford.

A three-way partnership involving Hartford HealthCare and the Yale New Haven Health System has secured approval to bring a highly advanced form of radiation therapy for cancer to a planned facility in Connecticut.

In a joint statement, the health care systems said Tuesday morning they will work together to launch the Connecticut Proton Therapy Center, expected to be built at 932 Northrop Road in Wallingford. The 25,000-square-foot facility will use proton beams, rather than X-rays, to target cancer in patients.

The treatment is not currently offered at any sites in Connecticut, company officials said. Both parties initially announced their plans to open the Proton Therapy Center in 2019 and faced several hurdles getting the project to the approval finish line. 

One of the challenges of the treatment has been getting it covered by health insurers.

Hartford HealthCare and Yale New Haven are working with Proton International, which develops proton therapy centers, to open the facility. Proton International will serve as project manager and operator for the location, and will assist with technology selection, financing and construction, as well as management.

The Connecticut Proton Therapy Center is expected to open in 2025, and will include a treatment room, control room, examination rooms and clinical space. Employees will include physicians and clinical staff from HHC and YNHH, as well as additional new staff.

“This is a historic moment for cancer care in Connecticut,” said Hartford HealthCare President and CEO Jeffrey Flaks. “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.”

Proton therapy allows doctors to more carefully control the dose of radiation patients receive, the health care systems said, serving to lessen the scatter of radiation and mitigate side effects. It is considered appropriate for many solid cancer tumors, including cancer in the brain, central nervous system, head, lungs, spine and breast, and is well suited for use in children, who are more vulnerable to damage to healthy tissue from radiation therapy.

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