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North St. Louis County welcomes new Siteman Cancer Center

Siteman Cancer Center breaks ground for new facility in Florissant
provided | Siteman Cancer Center
Patient-centered design at the new Siteman Cancer Center in Florissant will include a family lounge with a fireplace.

Siteman Cancer Center broke ground Tuesday on its fifth outpatient site. The $26.3-million, 37,000-square-foot facility will be located on the Northwest HealthCare campus of Christian Hospital in Florissant.

“This is the best medicine coming right here to north county,” said Rick Stevens, the president of Christian Hospital. “This is money being put back in the community right here.”

The new facility is a joint project of BJC HealthCare — which owns and operates Christian Hospital — and Washington University School of Medicine. It is expected to open in late 2019.

Credit Melody Walker |St. Louis Public Radio
Doctors and dignitaries ceremoniously shovel at the July 31groundbreaking ceremony for the future Siteman Cancer Center in north St. Louis County.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held under a huge tent on the future site of the Siteman Cancer Center at Interstate 270 and Graham Road. Doctors in white coats mingled with hospital staff, residents and cancer survivors in a festive atmosphere.

Sherill Jackson, a 26-year cancer survivor and president of the Breakfast Club — a community support group for families and individuals dealing with cancer — told the gathering that the new Siteman Center will improve access to treatment.

“Having the expertise of these doctors close to home removes some of the stress and reduces disparities,” she said. “Barriers such as transportation, parking and keeping appointments could be significantly reduced. It’s reassuring to know that you will receive the same excellent care without driving 15 miles away to the Barnes campus.”

Lee Fetter, BJC HealthCare group president, noted that Christian Hospital has served as an anchor for the community for more than 100 years.

“While health care is our primary role, we also believe it is vitally important to invest in the growth and future of this community,” Fetter said.

BJC supports neighborhood-wellness programs and provides education opportunities through school-based clinics and the BJC scholars program, according to Fetter. He introduced a new career initiative at the groundbreaking called the Tarlton-BJC Healthcare Resource Center.

“It will assist high-school students and others in the community in thinking beyond today to future career possibilities in the construction trades and in health care,” Fetter explained.

The resource center is located in a large trailer on the edge of the construction site where Tarlton will be building the new Siteman Center. Inside, there are iPads loaded with information about career options from patient care to carpentry.

Fetter said for BJC, it was “just as important to invest in this community career initiative as in the Siteman Cancer Center.”

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Siteman Cancer Center artist renderings
Credit artist rendering | Siteman Cancer Center
The center will include state-of-the-art technology and special features: linear accelerator to deliver radiation therapy; CT, or computed tomography, scanner; conference room that will serve as a community room for social and education events; and a healing garden.
Credit artist's rendering | Siteman Cancer Center
Artist's rendering of the patient registration area at the north county Siteman Cancer Center to be completed by the end of 2019.