The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Center welcomes patients to its new facility, where its specialized physicians offer the world’s most advanced radiation treatment.

June 17, 2010

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Center welcomes patients to its new facility, where its specialized physicians offer the world's most advanced radiation treatment.

The new 50,000-square-foot radiation center is among the most technologically advanced radiation centers in the country, with a radiosurgery program that can handle every aspect of treatment planning and delivery. It offers the full spectrum of radiation oncology services through the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"We are at the technological forefront of radiation oncology," says James A. Bonner, M.D., chair of the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology and a senior advisor at the Cancer Center. "We have physicians who have developed specific expertise in every type of cancer. This enables our group to coordinate and consult with physicians around the region - around the world, actually - to deliver the best treatment that modern medicine has to offer."

UAB's Cancer Center, among the 40 cancer centers in the nation that meet the stringent criteria for the National Cancer Institute's comprehensive designation, is a leader in groundbreaking research, reducing cancer disparities and leading-edge patient care.

"A world-class cancer center should have a world-class radiation center, and now we do," says Edward Partridge, M.D., Cancer Center director and president-elect of the American Cancer Society National Board of Directors. "Our patients deserve a modern, open and inviting place for care. The Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Center offers that and so much more."

The Hazelrig-Salter Center is a departure from most academic medical center architecture. It was designed, first and foremost, to be patient-friendly and family-centered. It features glass-walled waiting areas, spacious treatment rooms and illuminated ceiling art designed to relieve patient and caregiver anxiety. There is a children's play area, plush furniture in the lobby and changing rooms and a patient-resource library.

Outside the building, the Jim Limbaugh Family Park of Hope Honoring Phyllis Limbaugh, valet and on-site parking add to the center's many personalized touches.

The Hazelrig-Salter Center is at 1700 Sixth Ave. South, across the street from UAB Hospital and the Cancer Center, and a block away from radiation oncology's soon-to-be former location at the Wallace Tumor Institute.

The new center has specialty evaluation rooms for pediatric, gynecologic and head-and-neck cancer patients. Spacious treatment rooms feature state-of-the-art linear accelerators, and the imaging suite has a 16-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner to aid in accurate treatment planning.

This year, the center will be among the first in the nation to begin using a new radiation-treatment system called TrueBeam, by Varian Medical Systems Inc., to deliver image-guided radiation therapy and radiosurgery with unmet speed and accuracy.

The Hazelrig-Salter center was made possible through support from people who have had family members go through radiation treatment. A still-growing fundraising campaign that now totals 400-plus supporters has raised more than $10.5 million in donations for the new center.

The university extends a special thanks to Birmingham businessman Chip Hazelrig who made the initial gift and chose to name the new radiation center in honor of his parents - the late Virginia and William Hazelrig - and their longtime friends, Birmingham physicians Merle and Paul Salter. Merle Salter, M.D., is the former chair of UAB's Department of Radiation Oncology. The tree-lined park became a reality thanks to another businessman donor, Jim Limbaugh, who lost his late wife to lymphoma.

About the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology

The Department of Radiation Oncology is a world-renowned technological leader in the fields of cancer treatment, research and education. At the forefront in the delivery of cancer care in Alabama and the Southeast, the department is dedicated to the most technically advanced therapy treatments with compassionate care for patients and their families.