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State

Pontiac cancer center hoping to move to larger building

(MCT) — PONTIAC — An outpatient cancer care center serving patients in Livingston County and beyond would triple in size under plans to move the center to a renovated location.

OSF Saint James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center hopes to move its cancer center from 612 E. Water St., Pontiac, to 608 N. Ladd St., Pontiac.

The move would better accommodate an increasing number of patients, said Tim Johnson, Saint James’ executive director of diagnostic and ambulatory services, and Kathy McMillan, OSF Medical Group regional manager.

An average of 50 patients each week receives oncology and hematology services, including chemotherapy. The office staff is employed by Saint James, while clinical services are provided twice a week by doctors and nurses of Normal-based Mid Illinois Hematology & Oncology.

The existing, 1,100-square-foot space can no longer accommodate the increasing number of patients, Johnson said. For example, there is space for five patients to receive chemotherapy at one time, “but, on an average day, we’re infusing eight to 10 patients at a time and, sometimes, it’s up to 12 to 13 patients,” Johnson said.

Plans are to relocate the center to Ladd Street, where Saint James previously offered rehabilitation, occupational health, home care and home medical services. Cancer care would be provided in 3,000 square feet of the 6,000-square-foot building.

The new location would include 12 chemotherapy treatment areas, three exams rooms (compared with two currently), a larger waiting room, and an office and conference room.

Dr. John Migas, of Mid Illinois Hematology & Oncology, said “We’re very excited that the expansion is occurring. For our patients, it will mean a warmer, more welcoming environment.”

The additional space would mean that more patients would be accommodated, meaning Mid Illinois would add a third clinic day and would offer enrollment in clinical trials to patients at the center, Migas said.

Cost of the renovation would be determined after plans are finalized this spring, said Johnson, who hopes to open the center during summer.

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