Starting in March, Marion has a new center for the treatment of cancer where patients can receive the care they need closer to home.
Messino Cancer Centers opened its Marion location in March at 1860 Sugar Hill Road, Suite A. The new center for Marion is housed in a former doctor’s office building not far from Mission Hospital McDowell.
Founded by Dr. Michael Messino in Asheville, Messino Cancer Centers (MCC) provides treatment for adult patients diagnosed with all types of cancer and blood disorders.
“Messino Cancer Centers is grounded in the Western North Carolina region and devoted to providing personalized care of the highest quality to patients in community settings, close to where they live and work and where their loved ones are close by,” reads the Website. “We are proud of our 30-year history of providing the highest quality cancer treatment that is based on research and focused on the whole person.
Messino started his medical oncology practice in 1990 with the goal of providing “quality cancer care with compassion and kindness and in consideration of the whole patient as a unique individual.” In the later years, he expanded his practice to include medical oncologists and advanced practitioners serving patients throughout western North Carolina, including the rural areas surrounding Asheville.
Messino Cancer Centers has 14 physicians who treat cancer and blood disorders in six locations: Asheville, Brevard, Franklin, Spruce Pine, Sylva and now Marion. In addition to chemotherapy, patients have access to clinical trials, oncolytic pharmacy, pathology, lab services, care management support and financial counseling under one roof,
The new Marion location has three physicians (Drs. Martin Palmeri, Charles Bryan and Brent Skiver) and one nurse practitioner (Donna Gibson). Palmeri, a native of Mills River, is board certified in hematology and medical oncology. Bryan is board certified medical oncology and board eligible in hematology. Skiver is board certified in internal medicine, oncology and hematology.
In addition, the Marion location has three staff members in the front office, a financial counselor, infusion room nurses, a pharmacy technician, a laboratory technician and intake nurses.
The patients can receive all kinds of cancer care including chemotherapy and telehealth. If necessary, the oncologists can schedule surgery. The patients at the Marion office come mostly from McDowell County but there are also patients from nearby counties like Rutherford and Burke.
“One of the things we have tried to do is give the community access to great cancer care,” said Dr. Palmeri to The McDowell News.
He added this new location allows patients in the Foothills to get the care they need closer to home without having to drive to Asheville. That is especially helpful when a patient and the family are dealing with such a stressful experience like cancer.
“It takes a lot of financial and emotional stress off the patients,” he said. “It’s a blessing to work in a community like McDowell. We want our patients to know they come first.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic, patients have their temperatures taken and go through the necessary procedures with the staff for the safety of everyone concerned.
Palmeri said one of the things he and his colleagues are working on is providing treatment from clinical trials. These are new and innovative ways of caring for cancer patients. While there is no guarantee that these trials will be successful, they have been proven to be some of the most effective ways to help patients who are facing this dreadful disease.
“The area of cancer treatment is growing and developing rapidly,” he said to The McDowell News. “New drugs to treat cancer are coming out at breakneck speed.”
Messino Cancer Centers are not affiliated with a hospital or a health care system. “Messino Cancer Centers is now part of the American Oncology Network, our focus is to help preserve and protect the sustainability of community oncology so patients have high quality cancer care close to where they live,” said Lori Kagan, spokeswoman for the American Oncology Network.
For more information, visit www.messinocancercenters.com
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