Memorial to host oncology open house

  • Published in Health

Event will honor donors and welcome new oncology clinicians

CONWAY — Memorial Hospital is hosting an open house at its Oncology and Infusion Center on Wednesday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m., to introduce its new team of oncology clinicians and to honor several local donors.

All eight state-of-the-art treatment bays have been funded, many in memory of, or in honor of, family and friends. Donors are Edwin R. Grove Jr. of Brownfield, Maine, in honor of loved ones; Tom Shaffner of Fryeburg, Maine, in honor of Scott Kelly, longtime friend as well as Fryeburg Academy teacher and coach; the Memorial Hospital Volunteers of 2016 in honor of Joan Lanoie, the recently retired director of volunteer services; The Clarence Mulford Trust of Fryeburg, Maine; the Gibson-Woodbury Foundation of North Conway, in honor of Evelyn and Wendell Woodbury; George Fernald of Chatham, in memory of Sunny Pitman; and Phil and Joan Davies of Jackson, in memory of family. Each bay includes a photo, plaque and tribute message from the donors.

Memorial's Development Manager Rachel Andrews Damon worked with donors on their funding. "These tribute gifts are so meaningful. Our patients receiving treatment will find comfort and kindness in each donor message on display and these gifts will keep on giving as inspiration and encouragement to them."

Memorial Hospital's President and CEO Scott McKinnon added, "We are eternally grateful for the kindness of these donors towards our cancer patients and their sense of giving back to our community.
This event will be a great opportunity to give my heartfelt thanks, as well as to join our community in welcoming our new oncology medical staff."

The new team is part of a MaineHealth system initiative to help member hospitals offer the best possible specialty care close to home in their communities. In this instance, two oncologists will be shared between Memorial Hospital and Southern Maine Healthcare in Biddeford, Maine.

The team will include Oncologist Dr. Luiz Otavio Pita De Oliveira, who is board certified in Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine. He previously practiced at Cancer Care of Maine in Brewer. De Oliveira completed residencies at the University of the State of Rio De Janeiro in Brazil and Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami. He was a Fellow at the University of Colorado. Nurse Practitioner Leona Cloutier is completing specialized training in oncology and will be moving her practice from Memorial's primary care to oncology.

De Oliveira says, "I am very excited about joining the medical oncology service at Memorial Hospital. It will be an honor to be able to help patients with cancer and blood disorders in this community."

Cloutier said, "I have a passionate, holistic and evidence-based approach to health care, and I strongly believe in shared decision making between the provider, patient and family. I embrace the constant opportunity to collaborate with our health-care team in order to promote and maintain wellness for the community. I look forward to treating patients in a new capacity here at Memorial."

Also part of the team will be Peter Rubin, MD, board-certified oncologist who is providing care over the next several months on a regular basis and then as on-call resource once De Oliveira starts in March 2017. Rubin went to medical school at the University of Calgary, and obtained fellowships at the University of Western Ontario in Medical Oncology and Duke University in their Stem Cell Transplant program.

McKinnon explained, "In order to fulfill our mission as the primary resource for health care in our community, we are excited to work with Southern Maine Health Care to offer our own outstanding oncology team. Now we can continue to provide all our patients with convenient access to the full range of outstanding cancer care services close to home."

Memorial Hospital recently invested over $3.5 million in renovations to its primary care and oncology practices, including the featured oncology and infusion bays in 2016. Much of the renovation was made possible thanks to the support of community members, many of whom will be attending the event.

Light refreshments will be served at the open house. For more information on Memorial Hospital's development program and the March 1 oncology open house, contact Rachel Andrews Damon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call (603) 356-5461, Ext. 2264.

For more information about oncology services at Memorial Hospital, visit online at