Valley View Cancer Center is a top-notch facility |

Valley View Cancer Center is a top-notch facility

Post Independent Photo/Jim Noelker

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Imagine a first-rate cancer center in a close-knit, picturesque mountain community.

Imagine that center is affiliated with a top metropolitan research hospital, with some of the world’s leading oncologists on board.

Imagine a center where locals and visitors with cancer can receive the most advanced treatment possible, in addition to alternative therapies, complementary medicine, financial assistance, nutrition advice and emotional counseling.

Now imagine this place nestled into the Valley View Hospital grounds, on the hillsides of Glenwood Springs.

For Dr. Bill Robinson, an oncologist and a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Cancer Center in Denver, that vision is getting a little closer every day.

For more than 20 years, at the request of Valley View’s medical staff, Dr. Robinson has been coming to Glenwood once a month to meet and discuss cancer patient cases.

“We, as a group of physicians of pathology, radiology, internal medicine, family practice and oncology, review and discuss in detail every new cancer patient’s case,” said Dr. Robinson.

Three years ago, Dr. Robinson ” along with four cancer specialists from C.U.’s Cancer Center, and members of Valley View’s and Glenwood Medical Associate’s staffs ” started the Valley View Hospital Cancer Center in a 1,000-square-foot office space in the GMA building next to the hospital.

“To my knowledge, this is the only nonprofit community hospital in the nation that has this type of partnership with a major university research hospital,” said Dr. Robinson. “Valley View has always been forward-thinking.”

Now, plans are to move the center this summer to a 3,000-square-foot-space in a remodeled portion of Valley View Hospital.

The extra room is needed. The center currently admits approximately 40 new cancer patients each month. In 2003, patients made more than 1,900 visits to the center ” a whopping 50 percent increase from 2002, according to Judy Wilson, a nurse and the cancer center’s clinical coordinator.

Dr. Robinson’s vision doesn’t end there. The ultimate goal is to eventually build a cancer center on or in close proximity to Valley View Hospital grounds.

“It will be a model for the nation,” said Frank McSwain, director of the Valley View Hospital Foundation, the organization charged with raising the funds necessary to make every phase of Glenwood’s cancer center a reality.

Until then, Dr. Robinson and his colleagues in Denver and in Glenwood are meeting the Glenwood center’s growing needs.

“This center represents the best in oncology, humanism and science,” said Dr. Al Saliman, medical director of Valley View’s center.

“In other adult diseases, we’re not always looking for a cure,” added Dr. Robinson “With other diseases, we’re just looking for ways to patch up the patient.

“But not here. One of our major goals with cancer is to find a permanent cure. That’s why it’s such an exciting time for cancer and medicine.”

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

Frank McSwain, director of the Valley View Hospital Foundation, said the partnership between the University of Colorado Cancer Center and Glenwood Springs staff is what makes Valley View Hospital Cancer Center one of the leading medical partnerships in the country.

Some of the staff includes:

From the C.U. Cancer Center:

– Virginia Borges, MD ” Specialty: Breast cancer

– Paul Bunn, MD ” Specialty: According to Dr. Robinson, Dr. Bunn is the world’s leading authority on lung cancers

– Katherine Hassell, MD ” Specialty: Cancers of the blood including leukemia and lymphoma

– Fred Kolhouse, MD ” General cancers

– Bill Robinson, MD, PhD ” General cancers

From Valley View Hospital Cancer Center:

– Al Saliman, MD ” Medical director

– Judy Wilson, RN ” Clinical coordinator

– Additionally, the center works closely with Valley View internal medicine physicians, family practice physicians, radiologists and pathologists.

Information: 947-8819,

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