Cancer care center coming to Woodbury

  • Article by: JIM ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 7, 2013 - 2:30 PM

HealthEast will introduce the first radiation treatment facility to the city as part of a major expansion of its services.

HealthEast Care system is bringing a new cancer care center to Woodbury as part of the Woodwinds Health Campus and will expand its clinic with a new building in the Commerce Hill area near Tamarack Road and Woodbury Drive.

HealthEast Cancer Care Center will include the city’s first radiation treatment facility. That means cancer patients who often need a daily regimen of radiation won’t have to travel as far for that needed care.

The Legislature in 2007 had imposed a moratorium on adding radiation treatment in the Twin Cities and Duluth after a group of cancer specialists announced plans to build a center in Woodbury. The HealthEast plan does not involve expansion, however, but rather a transfer of one of its two radiation treatment facilities at St. John’s Hospital-Health East in Maplewood to Woodbury. The Legislature approved the plan, said Jodi Ritacca, HealthEast spokeswoman.

Construction of the radiation treatment facility is expected to start next spring. It is expected to open in January 2015. Woodwinds currently offers a medical oncology clinic with chemotherapy/infusion services.

“We want to improve patient access to the growing need for a comprehensive community cancer center in the Woodbury area,” said Tom Schmitt, senior vice president-ACO of clinic and outpatient services for HealthEast. “Woodbury continues to be one of the fastest-growing communities in the east metro. We are committed to continuing to meet the health care needs of this community.”

The HealthEast Woodbury Clinic that is part of the Woodwinds campus also is outgrowing its space as demand for services increases, Schmitt said. So it will be split into two locations. “The clinic is currently landlocked with no expansion capabilities,” he said.

About half of the physicians and staff will move into the Woodwinds Oak Center on the Woodwinds campus, on Weir Drive in the west part of the city, with the remaining half moving to a new site near SuperTarget in the east part of the city on Woodbury Drive.

The move and construction schedule for the Woodbury Clinic will occur during the next two years.

The Cancer Care Center will entail about 30,000 square feet, and the new clinic will be about 18,000 square feet, representing an investment of about $12.5 million. “This is an exciting time for HealthEast,” Schmitt said. ”

Meanwhile, construction also is progressing on a major expansion of the Woodbury HealthPartners Clinic in Woodbury near the intersection of Seasons Parkway and Radio Drive.

The project entails two building additions — one just more than 11,000 square feet, the other about 1,000 square feet — that will increase the clinic’s size from its current 30,000 square feet by more than a third.

The additions will include a new clinic and expand family practices, urgent care and lab services at the clinic, the largest HealthPartners primary clinic.

That project should be complete by next summer.

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