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Cancer patients devastated after Steward closes specialty center in Brockton

Patients scrambling for care after Brockton cancer center suddenly closes
Patients scrambling for care after Brockton cancer center suddenly closes 02:54

BROCKTON - Another headache for patients of Steward Health Care. Cancer patients now must go elsewhere for treatment, after their clinic suddenly shut down.

Steward Medical Group officials say the hematology oncology service at its Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton has temporarily paused, "because the physician left, and will be re-opened as soon as we recruit a new one."

"Like I lost part of my family"

Now scores of cancer patients like Kristin Thompson are left scrambling for care.

When you've gone through the fight of your life like Thompson, your place of care of is more than just a hospital, and after battling breast cancer for two years, braving 24 rounds of chemo, and a double mastectomy-the center has become a second home. 

"I was shocked, I was sad, honestly I'm still upset about it," said Thompson. "It was devastating, I felt like I lost part of my family, you know I went there every day during chemo."

Thompson was supposed have her two-month follow up appointment, but it was canceled with a few days' notice.

Instead, she got a letter from Steward Medical Group, saying the infusion center temporarily closed and her oncologist was gone.

She and other patients were referred to other care centers in Brockton, Taunton, and Weymouth.

"I can't imagine the elderly, the people that are going through chemotherapy, the people that aren't as resourceful as me, that might not have transportation, they can't just go to the other side of the city, they can't travel to Boston, they can't travel to Taunton," said Thompson.

Inpatient services remain intact  

WBZ reached out to Steward Medical Group and a spokesperson said in a statement: "The hematology oncology service at Good Samaritan Medical Center is temporarily paused because the physician left, and will be re-opened as soon as we recruit a new one. DPH is aware of this and knows that we referred all infusion patients elsewhere in the meantime. This is outpatient only. All inpatient services remain intact and have not been interrupted."

But some patients worry about the writing on the wall with the financially troubled hospital system.

"To say it's temporary is actually insulting," said Thompson. "The last asset that that hospital system has is it's physician network, so once that's gone, there's nothing left."

While Thompson is waiting for her medical records so she can go to a new place, she's reached out to the governor's office and elected leaders to intervene.

"They need to stop this immediately; they need to reopen the cancer center and make sure the patients are safe," said Thompson.

WBZ reached out to the state Department of Public Health. A spokesperson said they are aware of the temporary suspension of services at SMG Regional Hematology Oncology at Brockton, saying in a statement, "We are in communication with the practice and will assist them as needed to ensure patients continue to have access to treatment and services." 

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