Fox Chase community groups get update from Cancer Center

Much-anticipated updates from the Fox Chase Cancer Center were the focus of last night’s joint meeting of the Fox Chase Homeowners Association and Fox Chase Town Watch groups.

Gary Weyhmuller, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Cancer Center gave a presentation following to neighborhood residents, providing updates on construction, services and finances. Matt Braden, president of the Homeowners Association, told the more than 30 people in attendance: “We’re very thankful and appreciative of Fox Chase Cancer Center for updating us and including us.”

What’s with the water tower?

Residents are wondering what’s happening with the water town in Burholme Park, which has been shrouded with a shower curtain-like object. Gary Weyhmuller of the Fox Chase Cancer center explained.

Originally set to be spruced up after the Cancer Center’s renovations were completed, the Philadelphia Water Department decided to start early.

The tower was taken apart, cleand and reconstructed, and will now be sandblasted. The curtain is being used to contain emission from the blasting.

Weyhmuller, a lifelong Somerton resident and 33-year employee of the Cancer Center, said while the organization is taking steps to cut cost, the inability to expand into Burholme Park has negatively affected the finances. As of September, representatives for the Cancer Center have been awaiting an en banc hearing with the Commonwealth Court of Appeals, in which seven out of the nine judges will review the case for expansion. This comes after a June 8 hearing, during which time three judges heard the case and were unable to make a ruling. As for a court date, Weyhmuller told the crowd: “As soon as we know something, you’ll know.”

One of the goals of Fox Chase Cancer Center, as Weyhmuller highlighted in his presentation, is to build a stronger Fox Chase – something Weyhmuller said is being achieved through the recruitment of new doctors and scientists. More than 20 of the Center’s doctors recently made Philadelphia magazine’s Top Doctors list, Weyhmuller said.

Thanks to $8 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a new research facility is possible, which comes with a new parking garage and a green roof – two things Braden and Weyhmuller agreed will better the neighborhood.

The parking garage is meant to alleviate pressure on neighborhood streets and separate employee parking from patient and visitor parking, while Braden called the green roof “a really great jewel for Fox Chase,” as it will control water run-off and make power more efficient.

In the video below, Weyhmuller reviews plans for the new research facility.

Yet another new addition to the Center is the Women’s Cancer Center. Part of the Robert C. Young, M.D. Pavilion, the center will serve women with cancer and cancer-related illnesses, providing things like risk assessment, screening, diagnostic tests, support and more.

Before taking questions from residents, Weyhmuller introduced Fox Chase Cancer Center’s social media profiles, including ones on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Also at the meeting…SEPTA has begun staging for construction at the train station, and has put up a temporary shelter and ticket office…The owners of 8504 Bergen Terrace have applied for a zoning variance which would allow them to build a two-story addition with a deck and stairs. Given the vagueness of the variance and objections from neighbors, Zoning Officer Craig Turner said he will request that the owners make their case at the next Fox Chase community meeting in January…Town Watch President Steve Phillips and 7th District Community Relations Officer Rich Simon announced there has been an increase in burglaries involving sheds, cars and garages, and encouraged residents to “be vigilant”…The next meeting of the Fox Chase Homeowners Association and Fox Chase Town Watch will be Jan. 13.

Coming up in Fox Chase

-The Loudenslager American Legion Post #366 hosts BINGO every Friday evening.

-The 7th Police District will host its annual Christmas Children’s Party Dec. 17 to help area children with disabilities.

-The 7th Police District will host a Captain’s Town Hall meeting Nov. 17 with Capt. Joseph Zaffino.

-The Fox Chase Business Association will sponsor a Tree Lighting Ceremony Dec. 5, with food and crafts from local vendors and an appearance by Santa Claus.

You can see more details about all these events on the NEast Philly Calendar.

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