Beloit Health System plans new cancer center
JANESVILLE Beloit Health System plans to build an $11.6 million cancer center that officials say will strengthen existing health care relationships and provide patients with better technology and greater convenience.
The health care system soon will break ground for the center on a five-acre parcel of land at the corner of Milwaukee Road and Lee Lane, just in front of Beloit Health System's Occupational Health, Sports and Family Clinic.
"We're very excited with the plans and so far they've received a warm reception," said Greg Britton, president and chief executive officer of the system that includes Beloit Hospital, Beloit Clinic and nine outreach locations in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
"We were at the point where we wanted to replace technology that was a number of years old, but we really decided to step back and see what makes sense for our cancer patients now and for five or 10 years out."
The new center will combine the system's cancer services under one roof, rather than the current division of radiation at the hospital and chemotherapy at Beloit Clinic. Services will include medical oncology, chemotherapy and infusion and advanced radiation therapy.
It also will also feature patient support benefits in serene indoor and outdoor surroundings.
Britton said construction of the new facility, which is expected to open in December, would not disrupt current cancer services.
The new center in Beloit also will strengthen the system's affiliation with the University of Wisconsin and its Carbone Cancer Center in Madison, he said.
Beloit Health System has partnered with UW Health on a number of programs since 1985, Britton said, noting the cancer program is its strongest affiliation.
Officials in Madison said the new center in Beloit would allow patients to be treated with the highest level of care closer to home.
"Offering unsurpassed cancer care in a patient's own community is what UW Health strives to do and is an important part of patient- and family-centered care," Donna Katen-Bahensky, president and CEO of UW Hospital and Clinics, said in a news release.
Drs. Peter Mahler and Walter Vogel will move their practices to the new center.
Mahler, Beloit's full-time radiation oncologist, is on the faculty of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. He has practiced in Beloit since 1991.
Vogel, a medical oncologist, is triple board-certified and has been with Beloit Clinic since 1987.
"The new center will expand and improve our cancer treatment options," Tim McKevett, the system's senior vice president, said in the release. "It will be equipped with state-of-the-art cancer-fighting technology such as image guided radiation."
McKevett said Beloit's physicians will work more closely with UW cancer specialists and will have access to the latest treatment protocols and education.
Beloit Health System employs more than 1,500 people.
Britton said cancer teams from the hospital and clinic will move to the new center, which also will require the addition of four or five full-time employees.
The center, he said, will be near major highways and will serve cancer patients in Rock and Walworth counties, as well as those in northern Illinois.
"It will be a very nice looking facility at one of the entry points to Beloit, which is something we are all conscious of," he said.