Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital to open cancer center expansion
A newly expanded cancer center at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital will be open to patients beginning Oct. 1. The center’s year-long construction adds 10,000 square feet for patient care and support, and brings the latest in cancer treatment technologies to people in greater McHenry County.
More than $2.9 million of the $9.5 million total cost went toward the purchase of a new linear accelerator, the machine that is used to provide radiation treatment to patients with cancer and other diagnoses.
“Our team will be able to target cancer cells more precisely than ever as we protect the healthy surrounding tissue,” said Dr. Rena Zimmerman, medical director of radiation oncology at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital. “The new technology will help us deliver even better radiation therapy in fewer treatments, which means fewer visits for our patients. The advanced stereotactic radiosurgery capabilities also will enable us to provide exceptionally precise treatment for brain and spine tumors.”
In addition to the new linear accelerator, the cancer center expansion includes new areas designed to enhance patient comfort during visits to the hospital. A larger waiting area and new space for consultation will maximize patient privacy. A new computerized tomography (CT) scanner will be installed in the spring and make it faster for patients to receive the medical imaging they need before and during treatment.
“The cancer center addition was designed to make it easier than ever for patients to receive their treatments and to get back to their daily lives,” Zimmerman said. “Our goal is to provide their medical care and at the same time to understand what matters most to each individual. It’s that meaningful connection with our patients that makes a difference, and the new center gives us more space to offer programs and services that improve their daily lives during and after cancer treatment.”
In addition to radiation oncology, the cancer center offers infusion services for treatments like chemotherapy and immunotherapy. A wide range of support services including an oncology nurse navigator, oncology counselor and chaplain, oncology dietitian, genetic counselor, speech, physical and occupational therapists and a financial counselor also are available for patients and family members.
“This new expansion demonstrates our commitment to providing exceptional cancer services right here in our community,” Zimmerman said. “Patients can receive the care they need, just minutes from home.”