As part of Mercy Health Partners' goal of making oncology services more convenient for patients, St. Anne Mercy Hospital is breaking ground today on additional building space needed for a cancer center expected to open next fall.
The Mercy Cancer Center at St. Anne is part of a $14.4 million project that calls for moving most outpatient oncology services from St. Vincent Mercy Medical to the West Toledo hospital, said Richard Evens, St. Anne president and chief executive.
The 25,000-square-foot cancer center will share St. Anne's entrance, which will be renovated, and combine all outpatient oncology services in one area.
It will be on two floors of an office building next to the five-year-old hospital, which was built with additional space, plus 5,000 square feet of new construction to house radiation equipment, officials said.
"This is just a much more convenient location for patients and families to get into," said Brad Johnson, Mercy Health Partners' director of oncology.
An outpatient cancer center at St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Oregon is being upgraded as part of the $14.4 million project, and a center will be added for Mercy Hospital of Tiffin.
St. Vincent will remain Mercy Health Partners' site for complex cancer surgeries.
Between 95 percent and 98 percent of cancer treatments are done on an outpatient basis, and the cancer centers will be in more convenient locations for patients, said Dr. Gerald Marsa, a radiation oncologist affiliated with Mercy.
Besides diagnosing and treating cancer, the centers will offer expanded massage therapy and other services to help patients, Dr. Marsa said.
They also will have so-called nurse navigators, who will help newly diagnosed patients make decisions about their care, he said.
For patients who live closer to St. Vincent, chemotherapy still will be done there. Plus, Mercy is expanding its transportation services for those patients who need rides to appointments, Sarah Bednarski, a Mercy spokesman, said.
Mercy is not the only local hospital provider expanding its cancer treatment services.
Flower Hospital in Sylvania broke ground in June on the newly named Hickman Cancer Center's 8,500-square-foot expansion, and construction is expected to be completed by early spring.
Renovations to the existing 10,000-square-foot outpatient cancer center will be completed by the end of next year.