Transforming Patient Care

At SwedishAmerican, the transformation of patient care is continuously unfolding. Over the years it has occurred alongside advancements in medicine, technology and the health needs of our community. Most recently, an excellent example of this transformation is the free-standing cancer center the health system has opened in partnership with UW Health and its nationally recognized University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center.

This new project is the latest milestone for SwedishAmerican’s oncology program, which offers the region’s largest number of oncology physicians and a nationally certified staff of dedicated professionals. After introducing specialized technology to treat tumors during the 1950s, SwedishAmerican’s program was elevated to a new level in 1974, when the hospital received state designation as a Regional Cancer Center. Since that time, the evolution of cancer care at SwedishAmerican has been marked by the continuous addition of new technologies and treatments.

SwedishAmerican’s plans for a new cancer center emerged from a formal affiliation agreement with UW Health in 2010. Following board approval for the project in January of 2012, state approval was received on April 17 and the project was completed in October 2013. Located in close proximity to I-90, the new SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center is the regional destination for cancer care. It meets the needs of a patient population that is expected to grow significantly in the coming decade.

Services offered in the two-story facility include radiation therapy, medical oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Patients now have access to state-of-the-art linear accelerator treatments, such as IGRT, IMRT, Rapid Arc, OBI and stereotactic services, plus advanced medical imaging. The center also includes healing gardens and offers a number of holistic and support services, making it unlike anything else in northern Illinois.

“Cancer is not just one disease; it’s actually many,” says SwedishAmerican President and CEO Dr. Bill Gorski. “Addressing these multiple diseases by having seamless access, support and partnership from the UW Carbone Cancer Center and its researchers is one of many benefits of this project. At the same time, the new center will consolidate services currently offered at multiple locations, making life easier for patients and providing them with access to the latest clinical trials and expertise from UW Health.”

Construction of the Regional Cancer Center had a positive economic impact on Rockford and the surrounding region. In addition to creating approximately 300 construction jobs, the center ultimately included the equivalent of more than 100 full-time healthcare providers and support staff.