Columbia St. Marys Breaks Ground on Cancer Center & Water Tower Medical Commons

Friday, May 26, 2006

Milwaukee, Wis., April 18, 2006 — When Columbia St. Mary’s opens the doors of its new 40,000-square-foot Cancer Center in 2008, it will be a ‘destination of choice’ for cancer patients throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. Patients will find the most-advanced technology and patient-centered care in a holistic environment that includes healing gardens, quiet spaces and calming views of Lake Michigan. Such specialized cancer centers are a critical component of the health care system. According to the Association of Community Cancer Centers, 75 percent of cancer patients receive their care from community hospitals.

The Columbia St. Mary’s health system will break ground for its new Cancer Center and Water Tower Medical Commons office building on Wednesday, April 19, 2006, at Noon on the Columbia St. Mary’s Milwaukee Campus. The complete 162,000 sq. foot complex will overlook Lake Michigan on the former site of the St. Mary’s Hill Building and between Columbia St. Mary’s East Facility and Northpoint Medical Group along Lake Drive, just north of North Avenue. Physicians and medical professionals from a variety of specialties will have offices throughout the six-floor Water Tower Medical Commons when it opens in Fall of 2007. The Cancer Center will be located throughout the Garden Level and First Floor of the office complex.

“Columbia St. Mary’s has a long-standing tradition of providing high-quality cancer services throughout our health care system, including at our Ozaukee Hospital in Mequonand at our two east side hospitals,” said Leo P. Brideau, President & CEO of Columbia St. Mary’s. “The new Cancer Center will enable us to bring the two acclaimed programs from the Columbia Campus and Milwaukee Campus together under one roof to better serve our patients.”

Brideau added, “The new Cancer Center is symbolic of our overall vision to build a true healing environment for our patients throughout our system. It represents a blend of the very latest technologies and highly coordinated interdisciplinary care with the kind of healing environment that research tells us has a significant impact on patient outcomes.

What makes a Cancer Center a ‘destination of choice’?
The Cancer Center will integrate the best of Columbia St. Mary’s Cancer Services staff, treatment and technology on Milwaukee’s east side, incorporating the following elements:

  • A healing environment. From the moment patients and their families walk into the Cancer Center and Water Tower Medical Commons, they will experience calming views of the lake, access to nature, a healing garden on the garden level and serene educational and learning centers – all which help to create a true holistic approach to health care.
  • Ease and convenience. Patients will find comprehensive, patient-centered services in one location. Convenient valet parking will be available.
  • Comprehensive & integrative services. Patients can access high-quality services including radiation oncology, medical oncology, PET CT, laboratory, pharmacy, GYN oncology, complementary medicine, and educational resources.
  • Multi-disciplinary approach. Cancer patients often seek medical care from multiple health care professionals at different times throughout their treatment. The Cancer Center will integrate all of the caregivers, physicians and nursing staff, together at one site to enhance communication among those providers, ultimately creating better patient care. Patients will also benefit from the Tumor Board, a committee of physicians that discusses each case and arrives at a treatment plan that is most appropriate for each patient.
  • Radiation Therapy: Columbia St. Mary’s has the most advanced radiation and imaging technology including the new Trilogy System that treats tumors with advanced image-guided radiation. Columbia St. Mary’s was the first health system in Wisconsin to offer this technology that delivers higher doses of radiation than other equipment coupled with real-time X-ray views of tumors to ensure the most precise delivery of radiation.
  • Nurse navigators. Patients have one single contact, an on-staff nurse navigator, who will personally help guide patients and their families through the treatment process; educate them as to what to expect during treatment, coordinate appointments, follow treatment plans and serve as an overall support system as needed.
  • Added support. Pastoral care, support groups, and wellness classes will help patients and families better understand treatment.
  • Integrative medicine: Patients can also choose to experience various forms of complementary medicine, including acupuncture, music, art, and pet therapy before a radiation treatment or medical appointment.
  • Cancer Genetics Screening Program. Individuals may be screened for specific types of cancer based upon their family history.
  • Hospice.

Combining all of these components into one innovative Cancer Center will ensure enhanced quality of life for our patients. “Our focus on the built environment to create safe, healing environments will be embedded throughout the building project that will be developing over the next few years on the Milwaukee hospital campus,” said Brideau. “Our efforts to enhance communication, way finding, and reduce noise are just some of the areas we’re focusing on. Cancer patients, in particular, will also have access to clinical trials and the latest research available in cancer treatment.”

About Water Tower Medical Commons Water Tower Medical Commons will have six floors with a total gross area of 161,700 sq. ft. The building will be accessed from North Lake Drive with drop-offs at two separate entrances – one for the Cancer Center and one for the medical office complex. Each entrance will have an independent lobby and elevator banks. The Garden Level Cancer Center is set into the grade, opening to the east healing garden. An adjacent parking structure to the north will provide direct access to the first through fifth floors.

Columbia St. Mary’s Overall Building Project
Construction of the Cancer Center and Water Tower Medical Commons will be the second phase in building the new Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee on the 22-acre site of the existing Columbia St. Mary’s Milwaukee Campus. The first phase of the building project – Columbia St. Mary’s new Prospect Medical Commons and Whole Foods Market along North Avenue and Prospect Avenue began in 2005. It is anticipated that Prospect Medical Commons and Whole Foods will open in late 2006. Columbia St. Mary’s is the first hospital in the nation to partner with a leading national organic grocery store.

Columbia St. Mary’s will break ground for the main core hospital in late June 2006.

Cancer Center Groundbreaking Program Guests invited to the Wednesday, April 19 ceremony at Noon include Columbia St. Mary’s Medical Staff, Leadership Team, board members, and staff. Speakers will include Leo P. Brideau, President and CEO of Columbia St. Mary’s; Dr. Carl Olson, Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Medical Director of the Oncology Program at Columbia St. Mary’s; Linda Weide – a cancer patient will share her inspirational battle with cancer; and Father Tim Kitzke of Three Holy Women Catholic Parish and Chaplain Gloria Krasno of Jewish Chaplaincy Program of Milwaukee will give the blessing. The groundbreaking will follow.

About Columbia St. Mary’s
Columbia St. Mary's is comprised of four hospitals: Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee, Columbia St. Mary's Columbia Campus, Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee, and Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute, as well as 28 primary care clinics, the Columbia College of Nursing, a partnership with the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin, the new River Woods Outpatient Center in Glendale, and new Urgent Care Center in downtown Milwaukee. The system serves individuals and families in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Washington counties, with more than 158 years of service. In 2006, Columbia St. Mary’s was named a Solucient Top 100 Hospital. Columbia St. Mary's and its sponsor organizations, Ascension Health and Columbia Health System, share a mission to make a positive difference in the health status and lives of individuals in the community with a special concern for those who are vulnerable.  


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