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Business North - The Daily Briefing - Business Newspaper Online
Revised Ashland cancer center plan now includes new Essentia clinic
PHOTO: Ashland MMC Chief Executive Jason Douglas
Last January, Memorial Medical Center (MMC) and Essentia Health announced plans to build a new, state-of-the-art cancer center in Ashland.
The $12 million project called for the new Northwest Wisconsin Cancer Center (NWCC) to be built on the west end of the medical campus near the Essentia Health-Ashland Clinic.
However, officials from both MMC and Essentia now say the building project has been moved to the east end of the medical campus and expanded to include a new clinic.
“Our original plan was to remodel the Essentia Health-Ashland Clinic following the construction of the Northwest Wisconsin Cancer Center,” said Essentia Health Clinic Administrator Carol Anderson, “but when we looked at the cost of remodeling vs. new construction as well as the advantages of having the adjacency of the facilities, we decided that building a new clinic in conjunction with the cancer center as part of the project made more sense.”
While final architectural renderings are still in the works, hospital officials say they have received conceptual approval from the city of Ashland on the new building plan, and they hope to break ground in May.
“Our goal is to see our first patients in the new space in March of 2016,” said Ashland MMC Chief Executive Jason Douglas.
The project now has a total price tag of $21 million, and will include a one-story building that will house both the new cancer center and the Essentia Clinic.
“The new building will be connected to the hospital, which will be very convenient for our patients,” he said.
In preparation for the project, an old medical office building on the east end of the hospital campus will be torn down, and Douglas said that MMC will repurpose the current Essentia Health clinic building on the west end. As originally announced, Boldt Construction is the contractor for the project and Kahler Slater will serve as architect.
“We are more excited than ever about this project,” Anderson said. “Patients have been asking about our progress on the joint cancer center and now we can tell them that the project also includes a brand new clinic.”
The new cancer center is a collaborative effort between MMC and Essentia and will bring expanded cancer care services to residents of Ashland and the surrounding area.
“We have done extensive research, and the need for additional services, especially radiation oncology, is significant,” Douglas said. “We’ve talked with local physicians and everyone agrees that this investment will greatly benefit cancer patients from our region who will no longer have to drive hundreds of miles to get the services they need.
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