UCCCC Brings Comprehensive Cancer Care to Community Setting
With a brand-new cancer center in their midst, patients from Will County now receive a high level of care from a nationally renowned academic medical center in a setting close to home.
The University of Chicago (UChicago) Medicine partnered with Silver Cross Hospital to construct a $21.6 million, 20,000-square-foot outpatient cancer treatment center in New Lenox, Ill. The UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital (The UCCCC at Silver Cross) opened its doors in late June 2012 and began offering radiation therapy services in July.
“The opening of the UCCCC at Silver Cross provides a wonderful opportunity for Will County residents to obtain easy access to the outstanding clinical services and research innovation of the UCCCC right in their communities,” said Richard L. Schilsky, MD, professor of medicine and section chief of hematology/oncology at UChicago Medicine.
Benefits and Advantages
The new cancer center boasts many of the advanced treatment techniques found at UChicago Medicine in Hyde Park, including a linear accelerator that uses image-guided and intensity-modulated radiation therapy to provide the safest and most accurate treatments, precisely targeting the tumor from many directions. The technology’s high accuracy allows for faster, more comfortable treatment while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
In addition to state-of-the-art chemotherapy and radiation therapy techniques, patients in the community setting have gained access to dozens of innovative clinical trials, many of which transform new laboratory discoveries into new treatment options for patients. The UCCCC maintains more active clinical trials for cancer than any other program in Illinois. By also offering pediatric oncology services, the UCCCC at Silver Cross brings the advanced expertise of the UChicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital to a convenient location in Will County.
Focus on Patients
Another strength lies in the multidisciplinary approach through which radiation, medical, and surgical oncologists at both locations routinely collaborate to provide patients with the most effective, personalized treatment options. By using the same electronic medical record system, information flows seamlessly between Hyde Park and New Lenox.
For patients physically traveling to different locations throughout the hospital, volunteers are on hand to escort them. “The result for the patients is an integrative experience with a very high quality of care,” said Anne McCall, MD, assistant professor of radiation and cellular oncology at UChicago Medicine and medical director for radiation oncology at Silver Cross.
Dr. McCall reported that the response from the local community has been overwhelmingly positive. Alongside an influx of new patients, approximately 30% of her patients had transferred their care from Hyde Park to New Lenox to be closer to home, she estimated.
Looking ahead, McCall said The UCCCC at Silver Cross seeks to offer a multidisciplinary lung program and a multidisciplinary pain clinic, among other specialized programs.
The new cancer center will also serve as a venue for community education events focused on cancer risk, prevention, and early detection strategies. In partnership with the American Cancer Society, the UCCCC at Silver Cross will adopt additional programs that address cancer survivorship issues, many of which have long been in place at UChicago Medicine.
“We’re not just a community cancer center with the University of Chicago name,” explained Dr. McCall. “We truly are the UCCCC at Silver Cross.”