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Big changes coming

Visitors to Cass Regional Medical Center will notice some changes to the first floor of the hospital later this year as construction gets underway on an expansion of what is now the Specialists Clinic.

Increased services

"We've seen tremendous growth in both our oncology and rheumatology clinics in the last few years," said Chris Lang, CEO. "Two new oncologists joined the practice of Dr. Jaswinder Singh, bringing their staff to three oncologists and three nurse practitioners, and they now see patients in the clinic several days each week. Dr. Kevin Latinis, our rheumatologist, welcomed nurse practitioner Gina Accurso-Lee to his staff and expanded his clinic to three days a week.

"As a result, our oncology visits are up more than 70%, and our rheumatology visits have more than doubled since 2018. Because both of these specialties utilize infusion services, we've also seen our infusion therapy visits increase by nearly 50% in that same time frame," Lang added.

A blueprint for excellence

In response to the increased demand, the Cass Regional Board of Trustees recently approved an architectural and engineering agreement for design of an estimated $2 million expansion project (including construction and equipment costs) to improve the areas of the hospital where cancer, rheumatology and infusion services are provided.

The project will change the current footprint of the main floor. The corridor with windows overlooking the Healing Garden courtyard, which has provided access to the Specialists Clinic and Laboratory waiting rooms since the facility opened in 2009, will become part of the patient care area. Access to all treatment areas on the first floor will continue to be provided by the other main corridor that extends from the rotunda.

Infusion rooms with a view

A key feature of the expansion will be the relocation and addition of infusion bays. The new bays will be located along the windows that face the Healing Garden, giving patients a more soothing and interesting view during lengthy treatments—medication that is administered through intravenous (IV) infusion, such as chemotherapy, often takes several hours per dose.

Infusion Therapy capacity will expand from five bays to eight bays, and from two private infusion rooms to three rooms, one of which will be designated for patients requiring isolation.

Two new exam rooms will be added, increasing the number of rooms to six, and an additional shared provider office will be built. The space will also include an office for the patient navigator, who is a resource for newly diagnosed cancer patients as they embark on their treatment journey.

Building our future

The construction project will also include expansion of the Laboratory and Respiratory Therapy department to meet current and future operational needs. Construction will be completed in phases and is expected to last into 2022.

"This is one of the biggest construction projects we've undertaken in several years, and we are excited for the positive impact it will make on care delivery at Cass Regional," said Lang. "We humbly ask that our patients and visitors 'pardon our dust' during this time, and extend our sincere thanks to the community for its continued support."

A foundation for success

If you'd like to donate to support the future of health care for your community, visit cassregional.org. Gifts of all sizes make a big difference!

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