Dr. Merrick says goodbye to Wheeling Hospital after 30 years

Ohio County

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – A trail-blazer for cancer research will be retiring his jersey at Wheeling Hospital in pursuit of other goals. But after establishing 30 years of success at the Schiffler Canter Center, Dr. Gregory Merrick tells me while this chapter of his life is coming to a close, he is proud of a center that will press on.

Over the years in maybe a small town of 30,000 people, we’ve been able to build an internationally recognized program that’s attracted patients from 45 states and 18 foreign countries. So, I think it’s a good time to leave. The Center has never had such a favorable reputation. And our infrastructure is in place so that the Center should continue to grow and prosper.

Dr. Gregory Merrick, Urologic Oncologist – Schiffler Cancer Center

Since 1990, the magnitude of accomplishments is not small; receiving patients across the country from U.S. Senators to CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies.

We’ve been a first in West Virginia for so many types of cancer care. We’ve established new ways to do prostate biopsies; virtually eliminating the risk of infection with much better yields. We’ve put together a staff here that is the absolute greatest of anything in the world.

Dr. Gregory Merrick, Urologic Oncologist – Schiffler Cancer Center

In mere minutes of me meeting with Dr. Merrick, patients passing him in the halls were stopping him, thankfully exclaiming, ‘you saved my life.’ With such strong ties to the Valley, will it be hard to say goodbye?

Our patients mean a lot to us. We get to know them very well. And, it’s great to see people do well. It’s great to see the courage the patients and their families have when they approach a diagnosis like this. And, our patients are why we’re here. And I’m going to miss them, but they’re going to be taken great, as good of care when I leave them, as when I’m here.

Dr. Gregory Merrick, Urologic Oncologist – Schiffler Cancer Center

But we can’t forget about Dr. Merrick’s passion for basketball.

Founding the CRC Tournament in Wheeling, the annual Cancer Research Classic brings players from all over and has prepared thousands of student athletes with skills for college basketball. A sport that Dr. Merrick applies to his success at the Schiffler Cancer Center.

When I came here, Coach Chaney, who is one of my mentors, always told me; your success is really not due to you. And, that really bothered me for a while because we think we are. But, your success is due to your boss. Your boss sets the ceiling. So, if the boss sets a high ceiling, you can soar. If your boss sets a low ceiling, no matter how good you are, you can’t expand. And, that’s one of the reasons we’ve done well. We’ve (the hospital) had no ceiling.

Dr. Gregory Merrick, Urologic Oncologist – Schiffler Cancer Center

Though Wheeling Hospital is sad to see Dr. Merrick go, his impact on prostate cancer care, men’s health and youth guidance will be carried on at the center, and felt around the region for years to come.

As for the doctor’s plans, he tells me cancer research and basketball will continue in his future.

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