Havre, Montana – In 2006, Northern Montana Health Care (NMHC) and Benefis of Great Falls jointly announced plans to build the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center in order to bring cancer treatment to the Hi-Line community. This 10, 000 square foot facility would house a linear accelerator to be used for radiation therapy treatments, as well as provide chemotherapy treatments.
Prior to this, cancer patients along the Hi-line were traveling to Great Falls to receive their cancer treatments. While the service provided was excellent; the burden of travel took its toll on families. Radiation treatment especially, may span from four to eight weeks, administered daily, which can present an additional drain to the patient’s emotional, physical and mental well-being.
The Northern Montana Health Care Foundation (NMHCF) took on the capital campaign to raise funds for the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center, which was expected to cost around $6 million and be completed in 2008. Their campaign was given an excellent start with a $250,000 donation from Sletten Construction of Great Falls. Chili feeds, quilt raffles, Wine Galas, Golf Tournaments, and many other activities were held along the Hi-line in order to raise the remaining funds. While NMHCF ran the campaign, it was friends and neighbors banding together to take care of their own that truly raised the funds.
In 2008, as planned, the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center opened its doors. With Benefis providing the medical support, the Center was able to offer “cancer therapy with the healing power of home”.
But in 2012, due to regulatory changes in radiation oncology; as well as the loss of their oncologist; the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center was forced to shutter its doors.
Then a joint team of administrators from NMHC and Benefis combined forces and started knocking down the barriers to reopening the Hi-Line Sletten Cancer Center, and in the spring of 2014, the newly renamed Northern Montana Sletten Cancer Center reopened with oncology services provided by Dr. Berdeaux.
In July of 2015 Dr. Kanaan joined the staff at Northern Montana Health Care. A Hematology and Oncology specialist, Dr. Kanaan began seeing patients on a daily basis at the Northern Montana Sletten Cancer Center. “Dr. Kanaan’s presence allows us to move forward with our cancer care here on the Hi-line.” stated Dr. Steven Liston, Chief of Medical Staff at NMHC. “With Dr. Kanaan seeing patients daily onsite we’re able to see a patient through their cancer from the diagnosis through the treatment; enabling them to be near their homes during this time of crisis. His experience in Hematology as well as Oncology further enriches the depth of care he can provide our patients.”
Today patients are being seen daily at the Northern Montana Sletten Cancer Center. This is great news for cancer patients, who will be spared hours of travel time and expense so they can focus on healing. So once again, the Northern Montana Sletten Cancer Center is a blessing to the Hi-Line community.