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Regional Cancer Center expanding

By Staff | May 17, 2016

Planning is underway for the expansion of Lee Memorial Health System’s Regional Cancer Center, with the recent approval by the board of directors to begin contract negotiations with Skansa-Gates as construction manager at risk and HDR for architectural design services. Plans call for the addition of 24,000 square feet to the existing RCC, located near Interstate 75 and Colonial Blvd., to accommodate a growth in services, including expansion of the pharmacy, palliative care, genetic counseling and survivorship programs.

“The RCC has seen double digit growth every year since it opened in 2008,” said Sharon MacDonald, chief administrative officer of Oncology and Home Health Services for Lee Memorial Health System. “Our multidisciplinary team offers a comprehensive approach to care and having these services provided all under the same roof makes a world of difference. In recent years, we’ve added genetics services and greatly enhanced care coordination through nurse navigators, requiring some of our services to move to another building nearby. Centralizing all services in one place again will be an invaluable convenience for those in our care. We anticipate growth in many of our services, and we are preparing for the future to best serve our patients.”

Fighting cancer is hard enough without having to undergo the stress and inconvenience of traveling out of the area for treatment. The RCC is a unique collaboration between Lee Memorial Health System, 21st Century Oncology and Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute – offering treatment for nearly every aspect of cancer care, all under one roof.

The RCC is a model for breast care nationwide. Treatment is managed by a multidisciplinary team that gathers weekly to discuss care options with patients and their families. Nancy Fose, 61, of Cape Coral, believes the education and support provided at the RCC gave her the opportunity to make informed decisions about her treatment.

“I was glad that I had information and people to ask questions. In one day I got to speak to the entire care team,” said Fose. This approach ensures that each patient conveniently sees their entire care team in one place and has a complete understanding of their chosen course of action before returning home.

In addition to comprehensive, evidence-based care that is convenient, accessible and personalized, the RCC offers a healing garden, meditation room, deli and Cookie’s Place, a special boutique dedicated to men and women diagnosed with cancer, undergoing treatment or caring for a loved one. The shop boasts a huge variety, from high quality wigs and post-surgical and mastectomy forms and garments to essential oils, jewelry, soaps and other specialty items.

With more than 15,000 patient visits each year treating a variety of malignancies in both men and women, RCC survival rates meet or exceed the national average for all cancer treatment facilities.

“You can really tell the difference between people that are just doing a job and people that really care. I’m in good hands,” said Fose, who is now in remission.

For more information about the Regional Cancer Center and services available, visit www.swflcancercenter.org/.