(Update: Story follow-up with hospital officials, union)
Work to begin late this year ; 'world-class' facility on hospital campus due in 2025
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – More than 40% of patients treated at the St. Charles Cancer Center in Bend travel from Redmond, Madras, Prineville and other rural communities for their care. If they need radiation as part of their treatment, this can mean traveling more than 50 miles for services multiple days in a row for weeks at a time.
“We know that many of our patients travel farther than patients at other cancer centers in the country for their care,” said Dr. Linyee Chang, medical director of the St. Charles Cancer Center. “Some patients opt out of treatment because of the travel and that’s not OK.”
To better meet the needs of these patients, St. Charles Health System announced plans Monday to expand cancer services in Redmond.
Using $90 million secured through bonds in the fall of 2020 that are restricted and must be used for new construction, St. Charles will build a new cancer center on the St. Charles Redmond campus at the corner of Canal Boulevard and Kingwood Avenue.
“The announcement of a world-class cancer center to be constructed here at the St. Charles hospital in Redmond is a milestone event in the history of our community,” said Redmond Mayor Ed Fitch.
“I want to express our deep appreciation to the St. Charles Board of Directors for its commitment to the health care needs of Redmond, as well as the other communities this center will serve. The city and the community will do all we can to help facilitate this project and the future expansion of health care services here in Redmond.”
The facility will include a linear accelerator to provide radiation oncology treatments, along with space for chemotherapy treatments, nutrition, massage, acupuncture and other support services. It will also include space for additional outpatient services and medical office building needs.
“As the health care industry continues to face significant challenges, we are looking to maximize the efficiency of the services we provide to ensure we continue meeting the most critical needs of our Central Oregon communities,” said Dr. Steve Gordon, interim president and CEO of St. Charles. “We are making a significant investment in ambulatory services on the Redmond campus that will ultimately provide better access to care for patients.”
Building design is underway, with a goal of breaking ground by the end of 2023 and opening the facility in 2025.
About St. Charles Health System
St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond, La Pine and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 4,500 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.