SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital hosts a grand opening April 26 of a new, 9,000 square foot “Center for Radiation Medicine,” not only a new home for radiation therapies treating complex cancers and other unique benign diagnoses, but SSM Health’s first new construction project on campus as they develop a new SLU Hospital.
The project – the campus’ first major construction since 1986 – is separate from the commitment SSM Health has made to build a new SLU Hospital and ambulatory care center by September 1, 2020. The Center for Radiation Medicine will be adjacent to SLU Hospital’s Outpatient Care Center and be a free-standing, ground level facility with improved patient access.
“Our number one goal is exceptional patient care and investments in projects like this ensure we can support our physicians in providing that care and supporting SSM Health’s mission,” says Kate Becker, SLU Hospital president.
Radiation therapy allows specialists to deliver precise radiation to shrink or eliminate cancerous tumors and benign tumors such as meningiomas and acoustic neuromas. The new center will house new technologies at SLU Hospital, allowing for a continued multidisciplinary approach to treating these complex issues.
In the center, SLUCare radiation oncologists will have new technologies with the Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator, Calypso, Vision RT and optical surface monitoring system (OSMS). It helps assure consistent patient setup for therapy while more accurately treating cancerous cells with radiation therapy while avoiding healthy surrounding tissues.
“This center enhances what we are already capable of offering our patients,” says John Dombrowski, MD, PhD, chief of radiation oncology at SLU Hospital and a SLUCare physician. “It’s exciting to have this project as the first physical part of the hospital’s future.”
Using the latest technologies like Calypso that provide a GPS-like system to better target tumors, SLUCare radiation medicine specialists at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital are able to create custom therapies for each patient, providing faster treatment from a multidisciplinary team of experts for the following types of diseases:
Pediatric Neuro Oncology
Head and Neck
Dr. Dombrowski says the facility will allow for high-dose brachytherapy to treat sarcomas and intraluminal tumors, capability to offer stereotactic therapy for brain metastases and will continue to offer total body radiation for SLU Hospital’s outpatient bone marrow transplant program.
While the aforementioned technologies will be housed in the new center, CyberKnife radiosurgery – first offered in the St. Louis region by SLU Hospital in 2004 – will remain in its current location inside the main hospital.
The facility has two vaults with room for expansion and growth and is connected to the main hospital to provide inpatient and outpatient services.
About SSM Health
SSM Health (ssmhealth.com) is a Catholic, not-for-profit health system serving the comprehensive health needs of communities across the Midwest through one of the largest integrated delivery systems in the nation. With care delivery sites in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, SSM Health includes 20 hospitals, more than 60 outpatient care sites, a pharmacy benefit company, an insurance company, two nursing homes, comprehensive home care and hospice services, a technology company and two Accountable Care Organizations.
With more than 8,500 physicians and 33,000 employees in four states, SSM Health is one of the largest employers in every community it serves. An early adopter of the electronic health record (EHR), SSM Health is a national leader for the depth of its EHR integration.
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About SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital
SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital is a 356-bed quaternary and tertiary hospital specializing in organ transplants and home of the Mid-America Stroke Network. A teaching hospital, SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital is home to SLUCare physicians and students of Saint Louis University Medical School. An ACS Level I trauma center for both Missouri and Illinois, Saint Louis University Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and designated as a Level I stroke center.
For more information, visit us at www.ssmhealth.com/sluhospital or find us on Facebook and Twitter.