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Expansion to Oncology Unit in Ware Underway as 13h Annual Walk of Champions Date Set for Sunday, May 6

February 15, 2018
Construction crews have begun working on the expansion of the Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Baystate Mary Lane. The oncology team including doctors, nurses, program managers, architects, and hospital engineers have worked tirelessly for months planning the project which will double the size of the unit located in Ware. The majority of the expansion project has been paid for by funds raised by the Walk of Champions which is held annually on the first Sunday in May amidst the beautiful scenery of Quabbin Reservoir's Goodnough Dike.

Walk of Champions set for Sunday, May 6, 2018

The 2018 Walk of Champions is set for Sunday, May 6. Founded by John O’Neill, the walk has served as a tribute to the compassionate care his mother received at the Baystate Regional Cancer Program in Ware during her cancer journey. Over the years the walk has grown into a collection of teams and individuals each walking for their own reason. There are friends and family members celebrating victory over cancer. Others are encouraging their loved ones in their personal fight over cancer, while others walk in memory of those who have lost their battle with cancer.

“We continue our commitment to providing exceptional, high-level cancer-care services in the Baystate Mary Lane community,” said Dr. Chandravathi Loke, Hematologist/Oncologist. Dr. Loke joins her partners Dr. Jonathan Marsh, Hematologist/Oncologist and Dr. Richard Steingart, Hematologist, all of the Baystate Regional Cancer Program. “Our goal is to offer cancer treatment specifically tailored to meet each patient’s individual needs; the entire cancer-care team at Baystate Mary Lane are sensitive to the unique challenges that each patient and family may face during their cancer journey. Our regional cancer program provides our patients with state-of-the-art treatments with personal, individually tailored cancer care close to home surrounded by the comfort of their family and friends,” said Dr. Loke.

The Walk of Champions’ participants are inspired by the strength and courage of cancer survivors and show it by their continued support. Since its inception in 2006, the Walk of Champions has raised over $833,700 and all funds have remained local to support those facing cancer. In addition to the expansion of the cancer unit the Walk of Champions funds have been used for support counseling, educational outreach, pastoral care, medications, state-of-the-art equipment, and the Healing Garden located in the courtyard of the hospital.

“I am deeply humbled and greatly appreciate the continued commitment and generosity of all who support this important event which has made the expansion of our oncology unit possible,” said Michael F. Moran, President and Chief Administrative Officer for Baystate Health’s Eastern Region which includes Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing Hospital, noting that as part of the Baystate Regional Cancer Program, Baystate Mary Lane provides the majority of outpatient cancer services in the region. “The project will be done in two phases to minimize disruption for patients and staff. Phase one is the renovation and expansion of four new exam rooms and phase two will be the conversion of the existing exam rooms into infusion bays. The first phase of the project is slated for completion by May of 2018 and will include a new nurse’s station, a centralized medication room and an exclusive discharge area, with phase two of the project expected to be complete by the end of summer.

Join the Walk of Champions

Now is the time to join the Walk of Champions presenting sponsor, Country Bank, and our community members supporting cancer care by forming a team and becoming involved in the 2018 Walk of Champions. The route offers a 1 mile loop that allows walkers to choose the number of miles they walk among the comfortable walking terrain of the Goodnough Dike. Along the way, walkers will enjoy entertainment and refreshments, along with the peace and beauty of the Quabbin Reservoir. All funds raised remain local to support those cared for in the Baystate Health Eastern Region at the Baystate Regional Cancer Program located at Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center in Ware.

Pledge forms, fundraising resources, giving opportunities and more are now available online for businesses, community organizations, and individuals who wish to participate; go to . For additional information about the Walk of Champions, contact Michelle Graci, Manager of Fundraising Events for the Baystate Health Foundation, at (413) 794-7654 or by e-mail at