For the media

David & Donna Long Cancer Center newly renovated (video)

By The Health News Team | August 11, 2022

The renovated David & Donna Long Cancer Center at Sharp Grossmont Hospital has a new, modern and mindfully redesigned interior focused on elevating the patient experience and healing. In addition, new advanced cancer-fighting technology was also recently added.

For nearly 30 years, the David & Donna Long Cancer Center has served the communities of East County and provided world-class cancer care close to home. This includes everything from leading technology and clinical trials, to a range of support services and a team of compassionate experts who understand the physical and emotional challenges that patients with cancer face while undergoing treatment.

“What we’ve done with this renovation is to create a more relaxing, peaceful setting, designed for patient and family wellness and to optimize healing,” says Kelsi Ostenson, director of Ambulatory Services at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. “The patients we serve in our community deserve that.”

As with many of the major enhancements throughout our hospital’s campus, donors to Grossmont Hospital Foundation provided much of the funding for the cancer center renovation. This includes life-saving technology, which was made possible by generous donors committed to supporting the healthcare needs of the communities of East County.

Let the sunshine in
One of the more striking characteristics of the center’s main lobby that patients experience when they arrive are floor-to-ceiling windows that filter in natural sunlight throughout the day. A soothing 11-foot-tall stone water feature was added, creating an even more tranquil setting for patients. And two large, convenient check-in desks for the Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology departments were designed to welcome patients and facilitate flow.

Increasingly, research has found that environmental factors have the potential to transform what would otherwise be a highly stressful experience. Natural light, pleasant views, artwork and even the use of certain colors can provide a powerful healing and therapeutic effect for patients with cancer.

Throughout the center, visitors will find nature-inspired artwork and use of natural stone and glass. A decor palette that balances cool and warm colors gives a sense of tranquility and encourages healing.

Defining spaces for efficiency, convenience and comfort
In the Radiation Oncology Department, a new central nurses’ station receives patients. Staff areas were reconfigured for improved efficiency and better patient flow. And a new, comfortable seating area for patients waiting for treatment features artwork and other interior finishes chosen to create a warm and inviting space.

Private dressing rooms were also expanded for patient comfort, and consultation rooms include more space to accommodate family members.

Maximizing positive outcomes with technology
The center has always offered advanced technology with its Elekta VersaHD™ radiation system designed to treat a broad range of tumors, as well as complex cancers that require extreme precision.

In addition, a new Accuray Radixact® treatment system was added. Both machines precisely target cancer, protect healthy tissues and organs, limit side effects, and maximize positive outcomes.

“We’re excited to offer our new Accuray Radixact treatment unit along with a beautifully renovated treatment room,” says Gerry Rodriguez, manager of Radiation Oncology in the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Department. “This upgrade is a replacement of a previous TomoTherapy unit that served us well for many years.”

According to Rodriguez, the new Accuray system complements the existing planning tools, including clearer images to set and match fields for more precise treatment. “The new technology also decreases treatment time, which is a huge benefit for our patients,” he says.

Take a virtual tour to see more of the new improvements at Sharp Grossmont’s David & Donna Long Cancer Center.

For the news media: To talk with Kelsi Ostenson, director of Ambulatory Services, about the David & Donna Long Cancer Center for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at


Kelsi Ostenson


Kelsi Ostenson is the director of Ambulatory Services at Sharp Grossmont Hospital.


Gerry Rodriguez


Gerry Rodriguez is the manager of Radiation Oncology in the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Department.

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