Tuesday morning, the oncology clinic at Waldo County General Hospital held a ribbon cutting and open house at its new suite. The space had previously been used by the dialysis unit, which has since moved into the first floor of the new building across the street from the hospital.

Sue Drinkwater, RN, manager of the oncology department, said the oncology clinic started in 1987 with one room on the second floor furnished with a bed and a chair. There was an office for the only nurse, Brenda Burgess, RN, and Dr. John Gage, in the basement. Three patients received their cancer treatments at WCGH that year.

In 1991, the clinic was upgraded to share the procedure room suite off the emergency room waiting room. They had one treatment room, with a second available on occasion if it wasn’t being used at the time.

In 1998, the clinic moved to a former doctor’s suite, and celebrated having two rooms and their own office.

By 2001, the clinic had outgrown that space and was moved to the first floor of the hospital where they had four treatment rooms and an office area. The staff was thrilled and thought they found a permanent home.

This month, they moved into a suite with three private rooms and three treatment chairs in a light open space with windows. The clinic now has enough room for all the staff to have their own desk and chair as well.

In 2010, just 23 years since the clinic opened, the number of patient visits has grown from three that first year to 3,045.