A new state-of-the-art cancer care center is coming to the St. Luke’s Nampa Medical Center.
Plans were recently unveiled for a new facility that will unite St. Luke’s cancer care services in Nampa and provide patients with a tranquil, healing environment for treatment and recovery.
Since opening in 1991, St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute Nampa has operated in the same 20,000-square-foot building on Hawaii Avenue. It was built to care for 8,300 patients a year, but twice that number now come through the door. Providers are double-booked, and there is no additional space to hire more, even though an additional 3,000 patients are expected by 2020.
“We are experiencing higher demand for care in Nampa, which is only expected to increase with the anticipated population growth in Canyon County,” St. Luke’s oncologist Dr. Timothy Sawyer said. “Our Nampa oncologists are among the busiest at all five St. Luke’s MSTI sites, and our space is simply too small.”
The aging building also needs extensive repairs and updates to critical systems to maintain the stability of chemotherapy drugs and ensure the integrity of the laboratory and the operation of the linear accelerator used for radiation therapy.
Based on Canyon county’s population growth patterns and for patient convenience, St. Luke’s determined the best solution was to expand and relocate cancer services to St. Luke’s Nampa Medical Center off Midland Road.
The new cancer center will be 42,000 square feet with 15 medical oncology exam rooms and nine radiation oncology exam rooms—nearly double the current size. The additional space also allows St. Luke’s to offer new and expanded programs, including psychiatry, survivorship services, spiritual care, nutritional counseling, rehabilitation, acupuncture and St. Luke’s first integrated physical therapy gym for cancer patients.
Dr. Sawyer says the new building is about so much more than space.
“It gives our cancer patients the latest in cancer care. They’ll have more privacy and tranquility,” he said. “Patients right now are receiving care in 10 chemotherapy chairs that are all crammed in one small space with no outside view.
“In our new building, a new chemo infusion suite will have room for 20 chairs. Four of those will be private infusion rooms and all will be surrounded by a second-story view of Idaho’s incredible scenery. Those natural elements are proven to help promote healing and patient well-being.”
With updated technology in the new building, a new linear accelerator will allow oncologists to treat with greater precision, often in a shorter period. The team will also be able to expand participation in clinical research.
The move will conveniently connect medical services and specialties in a central location, leading to more efficient, collaborative and coordinated care. A lab and phlebotomy draw room will ensure that critical tests results are returned more quickly.
“We will be more accessible. There are a few patients right now who have to drive to Boise to receive their cancer treatment,” said Dr. Sawyer. “With a new building that has more space and technology, we can bring in more providers and take some of the pressure off the oncologists and nurses that are working extra hours to see as many patients as possible.
“We’re going to be able to improve critical access to cancer care closer to home.”
St. Luke’s plans to break ground on the new project in August, with construction to be complete within two years. The project is community-driven, meaning that the fundraising goal will be met through contributions from the community the cancer center serves. To get involved in raising funds, please contact Christen Wilmer at the St. Luke’s Health Foundation at 208-505-2981 or [email protected].
You can also make an online donation to the project fundraising goal and learn more about demand for the project and what it will mean for patients at the St. Luke's capital projects page.
Anita Kisseé was the Treasure Valley public relations manager for St. Luke’s Health System.