New cancer center to open in IM this summer

Donations boost Marshfield project

IRON MOUNTAIN — More than $2.5 million has been raised through private donations for a regional cancer center scheduled to open July 15 at Marshfield Medical Center-Dickinson, county board members learned Monday.

Jill Steckbauer, gift officer for the Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation, told Dickinson commissioners the fundraising target is $3 million, much of which has been achieved during the “silent phase” of the campaign. The foundation, she said, first reached out to potential donors individually.

Marshfield employees will be approached during the next phase and public contributions will also be sought, with $480,000 remaining to be raised, Steckbauer said.

“This really is going to make a huge impact for the U.P.,” she said. “We are incredibly close.”

Joe Rizzo, director of public relations and business development at MMCD, explained that costs for the 8,000-square-foot structure are about 30% higher than when it was budgeted. A plan announced in March 2023 called for a facility of 12,000 square feet at an estimated cost of $10.6 million.

In addition to the new facility, the revised plan remodels 2,000 square feet of existing space. Work has not affected the current cancer program, which will transition into the new unit this summer, Rizzo said.

Fundraising, Steckbauer said, ensures the center has patient amenities that will enhance the overall experience during treatment. Over the past year, Marshfield-Dickinson has provided care to more than 1,000 cancer patients, including 70% residing within 25 miles, she said.

The expansion being built by local contractor Gundlach-Champion should double the capacity and enable Marshfield to introduce access to clinical trials in the Upper Peninsula, board members learned.

“It’s needed,” Commissioner Joe Stevens said. “It’s a big deal.”

The new building is an extension of the Radiation Oncology Department on the east end of the campus near the Emergency Department entrance. The center will have consolidated chemotherapy infusion, radiation oncology and oncology clinical care under one roof. Added features include large private infusion suites with individual climate control, heated-massage infusion chairs, a patient nutrition area, a personal care boutique and confidential consultation rooms.

Naming opportunities are still available as part of the capital campaign, Steckbauer said.


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