Avera Marshall Announces Plans for Cancer Institute
Avera Marshall announces plans to build a cancer center and expand local cancer care services. The center, to be named Avera Cancer Institute Marshall, would offer radiation therapy in addition to existing services including chemotherapy, surgery, pharmacy, dietitian consultation, home medical equipment, on-site CT and MRI.
The project is estimated to cost $12.5 to $13.5 million. A portion of the dollars needed will come from funds set aside specifically for cancer care as part of the sale of the medical center from the city to Avera in 2009. Additional funds will be raised through the Avera Marshall Foundation.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this exciting project,” said Jim Fuhrmann, board chair. “After years of review and research, and with the assistance of a national cancer consulting firm, we have concluded there is a significant need for a local cancer center. It is time, and we are ready to make this a reality for families who need cancer care.”
According to the American Cancer Society, southwest Minnesota has some of the highest rates of colon, breast, cervical and prostate cancer in the state.
“Avera Marshall has been steadily expanding services and technology as well as increasing the number and type of medical specialists, including gynecologists, internal medicine providers and general surgeons,” said Mary Maertens, President/CEO. “Now, with Avera Cancer Institute Marshall, we are again demonstrating our commitment to state-of-the-art technology and improved patient care, all provided close to home.”
Avera Cancer Institute Marshall will offer radiation therapy, a new service in the region. Currently, radiation treatments require a 2-3 hour round trip per treatment. The average patient will have radiation for 5-6 weeks daily and chemotherapy treatment up to weekly for six months. A study by Sg2, a national firm with analytics-based health care expertise, indicates that on average, a cancer patient will have over 100 outpatient encounters for care in their first year. The establishment of Avera Cancer Institute Marshall will allow many more of those treatments to be provided locally.
Avera Cancer Institute Marshall will be an addition to the Avera Marshall campus. The expansion will also include enhanced chemotherapy services. Support services will be provided in part from Avera Cancer Institute in Sioux Falls.