St. Luke’s Hospital opens new cancer, infusion center

Published 4:08 pm Friday, August 4, 2017

Plans ribbon cutting Monday

World-class chemotherapy is now available in the Carolina Foothills. St. Luke’s Hospital Infusion Center is one of 26 regional cancer treatment centers in partnership with the renowned Levine Cancer Institute (LCI), part of the Carolinas HealthCare System of Charlotte.

Under the direction of oncologist Matthew Rees, MD, the newly opened center will offer the community a close-to-home, patient-centered alternative for chemotherapy and intravenous therapy (IV) treatments in a convenient, caring atmosphere focused on the latest breakthrough in chemotherapy and infusion treatments. Other services include IV antibiotics, blood transfusions, IV hydration, IV infusions for rheumatoid arthritis, injections, physician consults and treatment for oncology and hematology diagnoses.

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“I am personally delighted to help bring this type of care to the St. Luke’s family,” Dr. Rees said. “Patients will be able to receive their prescribed treatment in a nearby facility specifically designed for infusion care.”

Assisting Dr. Rees will be Physician Assistant Margaret Krusch and Beverly Conner, a family nurse practitioner. Lynn Hensley, RN, director of St. Luke’s ambulatory services, is also on the infusion center’s cancer care team. Three chemotherapy-certified nurses provide attentive patient care and pharmacists with advanced training are responsible for mixing powerful IV medications ordered by the center’s oncologist or from other outside physicians.

“What the new center offers patients is a facility with the latest cutting-edge infusion technology that’s close to home and backed by the expertise and research of everyone involved in the Levine Cancer Institute,” Hensley pointed out.

She added that the center’s staff is happy and capable of providing treatment for patients who already have a physician and a course of treatment but prefer to undergo infusion or chemo closer to home.

“St. Luke’s board and administration have been working in partnership with Levine Cancer Institute to bring these services to our community for about two years. The Infusion Center is an important initial piece of St. Luke’s plan for growing services to meet primary and secondary medical needs of our community,” said James B. Bross, chief executive officer for St. Luke’s Hospital. “We recognize the importance of bringing specialty care services to Polk County, and we are working diligently to provide those services while ensuring patient safety, best clinical practices and an exceptional patient experience.”

“With the opening of the St. Luke’s Hospital Infusion Center, we’re very pleased to offer cancer care and infusion therapy in tandem with LCI’s breakthrough research and reputation as a leader in this highly specialized type of care,” Bross added.

St. Luke’s is the 26th regional hospital associated with LCI whose core mission is to provide exceptional, innovative cancer care utilizing a broad network of renowned specialists living and working in the communities they serve.

The renovated center features a comfortable healing environment, wood grain cabinets and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a natural, peaceful setting. The facility includes four individual bays and two private rooms, all with flat screen televisions. Located in Building 4 in the medical office park, the center can accommodate six to eight patients a day for chemotherapy and other infusion therapies to treat cancer, arthritis and infections. In addition, the center includes three patient rooms for check-ups and follow-up care, a large meeting room for future support groups and education programs as well as a conference room with telemedicine access to provide additional support from cancer specialists and subspecialists with LCI.

For more information about the services available through St. Luke’s Infusion Center, please call Hensley at 828-894-0111.

– article submitted by Kathy Woodham