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I have to wonder why people would drive all the way to Boston when you get the same, maybe even better care, right here at Harrington.

Joann Grindle, 74, of Southbridge, is no stranger to Harrington Hospital. She worked here for 20 years as a home health aide coordinator in the homecare division. Now she works for Overlook Life Care Community in home care, where she has been for the past 10 years.

When Joann found a lump on her neck, she immediately called her primary care doctor, Dr. Paul Harrington.

“I had lost a lot of weight and found a lump, so I made an appointment and saw his nurse practitioner, Carleen McQuaid,” she says.

They decided to biopsy the lump, and the results came back negative; however, they still decided to surgically remove it. Then they sent the biopsy for more tests, and it turned out positive for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Already familiar with the doctors at Harrington, Joann says her decision to choose a cancer care center was easy.

“I knew that they had a very good oncology unit. I had heard a lot of good things about the doctors and the facility from my friends,” she says.

Joann went to see Dr. Christopher Seidler, who reviewed her treatment plan. The first year would consist of chemotherapy infusions once a month, and after that, she would have infusions every three months for another year.

“I was very frightened,” she says. “But the doctors, nurses, staff are all absolutely outstanding. They went above and beyond and made me feel comfortable. They talked me through the whole thing.

“Dr. Seider is exceptional. He has a wonderful way with people. He’s funny and very positive, which is really important. You go in there dealing with the big issue of cancer, but he put me at ease right away and made me feel that the outcome would be positive.”

During Joann’s treatment, she was attended to by Nurse Heather Staniszewski.

“She’s phenomenal. I feel like at this point we’re friends,” she says. “She always gets me a warm blanket before starting because she knows I get cold!”

As of June 2015, Joann is still in treatment and will continue with the infusions every three months for the next year. “We’re hoping it will go into remission by then,” she says.

“Having gone through this whole thing for a year now, I have to wonder why people would drive all the way to Boston when you get the same, maybe even better care, right here at Harrington. The treatment they provided me was excellent and up-to-date. I know I am getting the best possible treatment here and I didn’t need to go elsewhere.

“I certainly have a heart for Harrington. I love seeing the way the hospital is always growing and expanding. As a local citizen, it’s a very comfortable feeling to know the hospital is doing well.”


Joann Grindle


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