The Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee has approved the planned BJC Siteman Cancer Center application to develop an outpatient facility in South County.
At its Nov. 8 meeting, the committee approved BJC's application based on its staff's finding that there was enough demand for additional cancer services in South County.
The application was met with resistance from St. Anthony's Medical Center, which is located near the proposed site, opposed the Siteman location in a letter.
"The satellite center would take patients from St. Anthony's Cancer Center," wrote Brian Pence, director of the St. Anthony's Cancer Care Center, in an Oct. 19 letter to Tim Piper, director of Missouri's Certificate of Need Program. "The proposed linear accelerator is in very close proximity to our two linear accelerators and would only dissipate existing previous resources." A linear accelerator is the device used in destroying cancer cells in the body.
June Fowler, vice president of BJC HealthCare, said the company was pleased with the committee's decision.
The proposed outpatient facility will be located in the southeast corner of Interstate 55 and Butler Hill Road.
In August, the St. Louis County Council unanimously approved the rezoning of the site to initially allow the development of the stand-alone facility to go forward. According to a Barnes-Jewish Hospital news release on Friday, construction is estimated to begin in early 2011 with the opening anticipated in two years.
The proposed 40,000-square-foot facility will house medical oncology, chemotherapy and other cancer services, making it "easier for patients to access clinical trials," according to BJC's Certificate of Need application. BJC estimates $17-million in costs for the location in addition to bringing new jobs to the area.
"The construction will generate approximately 300 construction jobs and once open will create 50 new, permanent positions with BJC or with Washington University's departments of medicine," confirms Jason Merrill a spokesman at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
The first phase of the project will see construction of the one story building housing medical oncology and chemotherapy, radiation oncology, cancer surgical subspecialty consultation, laboratory and other cancer support services. All doctors working at the center will be Washington University physicians.
The Siteman Cancer Center, which includes the cancer-related programs of Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, is the only cancer center within 250 miles of St. Louis designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute according to information on the BJC website.
In October, Siteman received renewal of its designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health.
The new South County location will be the fourth Siteman Cancer Center facility in St. Louis. The primary Siteman Cancer Center location is adjacent to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in the Central West End. The other two locations are at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in Creve Coeur and Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital in St. Charles County.
Siteman Cancer Center is owned and operated by Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Barnes-Jewish Hospital is a member of BJC HealthCare.