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The $30 million cancer center at BMC's Hillcrest campus is being named the Phelps Cancer Center in honor of former BHS President David Phelps who was instrumental in its development.

BMC Renaming Cancer Center After Former President, CEO

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems is renaming the BMC Cancer Center to honor former health system President and CEO David E. Phelps in recognition of his leadership in the development of the center and its membership in the Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative.

The new name is the Phelps Cancer Center.

"Throughout Dave's nearly three decades at the helm of our organization, BHS overcame a seriously troubled financial outlook and weak quality performance to become an A-rated system financially and a nationally recognized performer in patient care, quality, and safety," said Darlene Rodowicz, president and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems. "One of Dave's greatest accomplishments during his tenure was the establishment of the cancer center at the Hillcrest Campus of BMC, which opened in fall 2013."

Phelps, who retired in January, developed a vision for a cancer care facility that would not only smoothly coordinate the highest quality care for patients in a convenient, close-to-home location, but would also offer integrated, whole-patient care for patients and their families, including social worker support, fitness, acupuncture, nutrition assistance, and other types of integrative wellness programming.

The cancer experience of a close family member led Phelps to engage with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and the idea of maintaining a close relationship with a leading research organization like Dana-Farber became an integral part of his plans for the future of cancer care in the Berkshires, which ultimately led to the creation of the Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative, of which BMC was the first member.

"Our organization's relationships with community hospitals have allowed Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to collaborate and expand what's possible. That started here in collaboration with Berkshire Medical Center," said Elizabeth Liebow, chief integration officer and senior vice president of strategy and organizational effectiveness for Dana-Farber. "BMC and Dana-Farber have been involved in a 10-year relationship of respect and mutual learning."

As a collaborative member, Phelps Cancer Center standards and practices are validated by one of the nation's leading cancer care and research institutions. The relationship ensures that patients can have streamlined access to specialists and second opinions at Dana-Farber in Boston. It also gives them access to participate in Dana-Farber clinical trials and enables Phelps Center clinical staff to engage with Dana-Farber professional groups and other collaborative members to continue developing new ways to serve Berkshire patients.

Barton Raser, chair of the Berkshire Health Systems board of trustees, commented on the incredible value of the cancer center, stating, "Dave has given our community a priceless gift — what we have right here in the Berkshires at the cancer center is hope. And the promise that no cancer patient is ever alone. On behalf of the board and leadership of BHS, we are proud to re-name the cancer center in Dave's honor."


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Wreath Art Auction

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Wreath Art Auction is back in-person at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts on Friday, Dec. 2.
Dozens of local artists and members of the Springside Greenhouse Group have created original holiday wreaths, centerpieces and more. The preview party and sale begins at 5pm and the live auction will take place after the Park Square Holiday Tree Lighting at 6:30 pm. 
Tickets will be available at the door for a suggested donation of $10. Light food and beverages will be available.  100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of these original works of art will be donated to the South Congregational Church Food Pantry. The Wreath Art Auction has raised more than $30,000 over the years for the food pantry. 
The wreaths will be delivered and installed at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts on Thursday, Dec. 1 from 10am-2pm and previewed on the Cultural Pittsfield Facebook Page.  
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