The new Kaufman Cancer Center at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center will open on Oct. 7. A private ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Wednesday, Sept. 18. (Photo courtesy of Tracey Brown, The Aegis / September 16, 2013)

Upper Chesapeake Health is preparing to open its $60 million Patricia D. and M. Scott Kaufman Cancer Center on the campus of Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air.

In advance of the center's scheduled public opening on Oct. 7, Upper Chesapeake Health is hosting a ceremonial ribbon cutting and reception at the cancer center Wednesday afternoon, by invitation only.

The Kaufman Cancer Center is off West MacPhail Road. The 75,000-square-foot facility features state-of-the art diagnostic and treatment equipment and offers full services at one location, Upper Chesapeake President and CEO Lyle Sheldon told Bel Air town officials during a briefing last month.

He explained the Kaufman Cancer Center will provide multidisciplinary care including medical, surgical and radiation oncology.

Sheldon said the Kaufman Cancer Center will be affiliated with the University of Maryland Medical System's highly rated Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore and, in addition to providing Harford residents with treatment close to home, the center will provide access to clinical trials previously unavailable in the county.

According to Upper Chesapeake Health, an average of 1,250 Harford County residents are diagnosed with cancer each year, and a typical patient makes more than 100 visits for health care services in the first year after diagnosis. The American Red Cross estimates the number of cancer patients in Harford will increase 28 percent by 2017; the most common forms of cancers are prostate, lung, breast and colorectal.

Upper Chesapeake's Hope and Healing Close to Home has raised $18.5 million for the center, with the lead gift coming form the Kaufmans, who are Churchville residents. The organization says it expects the fundraising campaign to make $20 million by year's end.

"Establishing a cancer center in the county has been a longtime dream of many in the leadership team at Upper Chesapeake Health," Sheldon said in a statement. "Our vision is finally becoming a reality - to provide a community-based, functional and healing environment, fully integrated with the high-quality care of the Greenebaum Cancer Center."

Dr. Philip Nivatpumin, a medical oncologist with Upper Chesapeake Health, has been appointed medical director of the Kaufman Cancer Center.

Upper Chesapeake Health provides several multidisciplinary cancer services and care clinics, all of which will be consolidated into the Kaufman Cancer Center when it opens. In addition to the well-established breast and lung cancer specialties, new programs have been added for lymphomas and head and neck cancers and other programs will be added in the future, the organization said.

A range of surgical offerings will continue to be offered in breast, ENT (head and neck), general surgery/GI, gynecology, neurosurgery, plastics and reconstructive, thoracic and urology.