Siteman Cancer Center celebrates future Metro East opening

Siteman Cancer Center celebrated the start of construction of its newest facility at Memorial Hospital East with a reception on Friday. 

Siteman Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute- designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the region and is originally based at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. 

At the reception, cancer patients and their physicians came together to sign a steel support beam that will become part of the building. 

Construction is now underway on the $38 million, 70,650 square- foot medical office building at Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh, 1404 Cross St. The facility will replace a temporary location at 4000 N. Illinois Lane in Swansea, where Siteman has been operating since last year. 

The emcee of the event was Tom Calhoun, announcer for the St. Louis Blues and Gateway Grizzlies. The invocation was given by Dr. Doug Munton, senior pastor of First Baptist Church and member of the Memorial Hospital East Board of Directors. 

Speakers of the event included Mark Turner, president of Memorial Regional Health Services; Joan Magruder, BJC Healthcare Group President; Mark Kern, Chairman of the St. Clair County Board; Dr. David Perlmutter, Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs at Washington University School of Medicine; Tracie Kent, cancer survivor and resident of the Metro East and Timothy Eberlein, Director of Siteman Cancer Center. 

Washington University physicians that signed the beam include: Dr. William Popovic, Dr. Guillermo Rodriguez, Dr. John Visconti and Dr. Susan Laduzinsky. 

Entertainment for the event included jazz pianist Kara Baldus and vocalist Keisha Gwin-Goodin. 

“What a privilege it is to be in Southern Illinois,” Eberlein said. “Siteman Cancer Center has long wanted to be an even bigger part of this great community. Siteman at Memorial East will offer a welcoming, calming environment where patients will receive the most advanced cancer care.”

The new facility will accommodate multidisciplinary care with radiation oncology and chemotherapy services, and will provide access to therapeutic clinical trials, which are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of innovative cancer therapies. By participating in a clinical trial, patients can gain access to investigational therapies that are not widely available to the public. For the convenience of patients, the new location also will include a diagnostic laboratory and a pharmacy.

“We are very excited to bring Siteman Cancer Center to the Memorial East campus,” Turner said. “This will provide convenient, world-class cancer treatment services to residents throughout the entire region.”

BJC HealthCare, which owns and operates Memorial Hospital East, is building the three-story structure, which also will include clinical space for non-cancer care providers affiliated with Memorial and BJC Medical Group of Illinois. The anticipated completion for the facility is early 2020. 

O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Annabelle Knef