The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, headquartered in Detroit, Monday announced plans to open its 15th treatment location in Michigan at McLaren Oakland in Pontiac next month.
“McLaren Oakland will soon be home to a new 21-bed inpatient state-of-the art oncology unit,” says Margaret Dimond, president and CEO of McLaren Oakland. “Karmanos Cancer Institute is one of the nation’s top cancer centers and, as one of the newest Karmanos sites, we are pleased to provide an advanced level of care to our patients.”
The sixth floor of the hospital’s west tower is undergoing a complete renovation for the 19,000-square-foot unit. Total project costs are estimated at $14 million and represent strategic investments by McLaren Health Care in the expansion of its cancer network following its acquisition of Karmanos in 2013.
“Opening an oncology unit brings us closer to our strategic goal of setting new standards of health care for the community and our patients,” says Dimond. “We are committed to providing exceptional inpatient cancer care to those requiring surgery or hospitalization for disease complications.”
An oncologic surgical center is being created for cancer surgeries and procedures. It will include collaboration with Karmanos’ main academic treatment and research campus in Detroit, along with surgical and gynecology oncology programs in Flint, Farmington Hills, and Bay City.
All patient rooms have a single bed for privacy. There will also be family waiting and sleeping areas. The unit includes rooms for an intensive care unit and step-down unit staffed with clinicians who specialize in critical care. An acute care center will be part of the program, so patients can avoid visits to the emergency room. This will be an important service extension for Karmanos’ presence in north Oakland County.
Karmanos recently announced plans for a $47.5 million renovation to its Lawrence and Idell Weisberg Cancer Treatment Center in Farmington Hills. Karmanos and McLaren leadership believe there is a complement of services that can be provided among locations in Detroit, Farmington Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Clarkston, and the new location in Pontiac.
The new inpatient oncology unit will be led by hematologic oncologists Dr. Jeffrey Margolis and Dr. Adil Akhtar. Their team will include physicians, nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, and social workers.
“Dr. Margolis and Dr. Akhtar are highly regarded clinicians who we welcome to Karmanos Cancer Institute,” says Justin F. Klamerus, president of Karmanos Cancer Hospital. “Karmanos looks forward to close collaboration to build service offerings in the region. The Karmanos network currently operates 14 treatment locations in Michigan. All of our centers undergo rigorous quality reviews, and our providers are certified members of the cancer program. Each of our facilities work together to develop evidence-based care guidelines and best practices to enhance the care we provide for our patients.”
Margolis says patients will have increased access to Karmanos’ clinical trials for additional treatment options. Karmanos has one of the nation’s largest clinical trials programs, where the latest cancer-fighting drugs are available years before other hospitals.
“The strategy behind the expansion of our cancer network throughout the state of Michigan is focused squarely on improving access to the best cancer care and research available today. This expansion at McLaren Oakland and partnership with Dr. Margolis and his team is an excellent example of this market growth strategy,” says Klamerus. “We now touch nearly 20 percent of all cancer patients treated in Michigan.”