One Year Later, Making a World of Difference for Patients

When the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at The Hospital of Central Connecticut opened up a spacious and comprehensive new cancer center in New Britain last year, Carll Pallokat was one of the first patients to appreciate the things that make it stand out.

As someone who has been diagnosed and treated for three different types of cancers over the past 10 years, Pallokat was used to receiving chemotherapy and other forms of treatment in a normal hospital setting. It never inconvenienced him, he said, especially because of the strong relationships he developed with the doctors and nurses who cared for him at The Hospital of Central Connecticut’s former location on the New Britain General campus.

Still, he said, the trips he took to the hospital for chemotherapy were not something he looked forward to. But last year, as soon as the new center opened up, he said he could see a world of difference. While still maintaining strong ties with the staff who look out for him, the 73-year-old Harwinton resident said he now finds himself looking forward to making his regular visits to the center for care.

“It’s an absolute delight to be there,” he said. “The setting is so magnificent, I can’t believe I get to see all these wonderful people and take in these wonderful views. There’s no place like it.”

Pallokat said the infusion center where he receives chemotherapy is like a “5-star resort” with its comfortable reclining chairs and private bays equipped with high definition TVs. The suite offers privacy if he wants it, but he said he also appreciates the constant attention from his nurses and doctors. The best part, he said, is the view that the infusion center offers to the woods and reflection garden and nature path in back of the building.

  • “The setting is so magnificent, I can’t believe I get to see all these wonderful people and take in these wonderful views. There’s no place like it.”

    - Carll Pallokat

“It really makes such a difference knowing that you are going to be comfortable,” he said.

Patients like Pallokat were the driving motivation behind the years of planning and construction that went into the cancer center, which is located off Interstate 84 right next to the Plainville town line. The center covers over 60,000 square feet and features stateof- the-art technology including intensity modulated radiation therapy and Novalis radiosurgery as well as MRI and PET-CT imaging. The center also boasts a comprehensive breast health center and centers for gynecologic and surgical oncology. The centerpiece is a large open lobby featuring a stone-inlaid staircase, fireplace and music — all meant to put patients at ease.

“We are so pleased to see all the planning that went into this center providing the kind of coordinated and comprehensive care that leads to a positive experience for patients like Carll,” said Donna Handley, vice president of operations for the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute. “Everything we did to make this vision a reality, and everything we continue to do, is centered around our patients.”