RAPID CITY, S.D. — Monument Health has announced plans to double the size of the Monument Health Cancer Care Institute, a $36 million project to improve patient comfort, allow more collaboration among specialists, and keep cancer patients closer to home.
“Delivering high-quality care is a Monument Health priority, and our Cancer Care Institute has been an oncology leader for decades,” said Paulette Davidson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Monument Health. “Our patients and our communities deserve quality care in a timely manner. They also deserve privacy, comfort and as much convenience as possible. This expansion project will help us deliver all of these things.”
In conjunction with the project announcement, the Monument Health Foundation announced an $8.5 million capital campaign, called “Together We Can,” to help fund the project. The Foundation, the fundraising arm of Monument Health, has committed $6.5 million in previously raised funds for the campaign. The remaining $2 million will come from community donations, said Pat Burchill, Chairman of the Foundation Board.
Doug Koch, Vice President of Operations at Monument Health Rapid City Hospital and Market, said the institute currently serves 40,000 patients a year. They come from South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, as well as the Pine Ridge, Cheyenne River and Rosebud reservations. On an average day, 160 cancer patients pass through the institute’s doors.
The Cancer Care Institute will remain at its current location at the east end of the Rapid City Hospital campus. Architects are designing a two-story facility with ample clinic space and a full range of cancer care services, Koch said.
“Patient comfort will be key,” Koch added. “That’s especially important for those who receive chemotherapy or infusion treatments. They spend a lot of time in those chairs, and we want to make the experience as easy as possible for them.”
The new second-floor infusion area will offer roomy, pleasant spaces with large windows and a great view. Each of the infusion bays will be separated by walls, not curtains.
Radiation Oncologist Daniel Petereit, M.D., who with Burchill is co-chair of the “Together We Can” campaign, said cancer is a complex disease that affects several organs and processes in the body. Treatment requires the expertise of a number of medical specialties.
Using a team approach, Petereit said, oncologists can work with other specialists in pathology, radiology, surgery and other disciplines to create an effective treatment plan for patients. As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Monument Health can also consult with some of the best minds in medicine.
The new Cancer Care Institute will provide consulting rooms, conference areas and technology to bring these experts together to talk in real time about the patient’s treatment options. Also, a modern, well-equipped Cancer Care Institute will make it easier to attract top medical talent, Petereit added.
“Over the last 20 years the Cancer Care Institute has outgrown the existing space. Our communities deserve a state-of-the-art, modern cancer center that offers treatment for nearly 99 percent of all the cancers seen — close to home,” he said.