State Board Approves Silver Cross Cancer Center
The $21.6 million cancer center is a partnership between Silver Cross Hospital and the University of Chicago.
A state board Tuesday approved the construction of a $21.6 million cancer treatment center at the Silver Cross Hospital being built in New Lenox.
Laurie Smith, a New Lenox representative on the Will County Board, is a cancer survivor and said she's "thrilled" there will be a closer treatment option for residents.
"Most people, when they find out they have cancer, have weeks if not months of treament, and it can be hard if you have to go to Chicago," Smith said. "The impact on family members, when they have such a high-quality facility here, will be monumental."
The cancer center is a partnership between Silver Cross Hospital and the University of Chicago Medical Center. The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved it unanimously, said Melanie Arnold, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Health.
This will provide treatment close to home for south suburban residents often forced to travel to Chicago. The two-story facility will open on the Silver Cross medical campus in 2012.
"Patients have choices when it comes to where they want to go for cancer diagnosis and treatment," Paul Pawlak, Silver Cross president and CEO, said in a news release. "By partnering with University of Chicago Medical Center, we are providing options and improving access."
According to Silver Cross Hospital spokeswoman Tracy Simons, there are 4,800 Will County residents who are diagnosed with cancer each year, and the University of Chicago Medical Center currently cares for about 1,400 patients from the county.
Simons also pointed to the growth and aging of the Will County population; there's an expected county population of 900,000 by 2014, with people 65 and older the fastest-growing number of them.
"Market research indicated that cancer patients would prefer to have their care closer to home, but preferred an academic medical center," Simons said in an e-mail. "We are very proud to bring these new services to the community."
The 20,000-square foot building will provide patients access to clinical trials, oncologists and University of Chicago specialists, chemotherapy, infusion services, radiation therapy, support groups and preventative screenings.
In addition to the increased access that will be provided, Smith said the partnership, and the rest of the hospital, will have great economic benefits for the village.
"It's a double-whammy for New Lenox," she said.