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Published on August 18, 2010

Mercy Announces Destination Cancer Center in Medical District

New facility to provide area’s most advanced, patient-centered cancer care  


Mercy announces plans to build a nonprofit Destination Cancer Center on its campus in the proposed Medical District. The new center will offer fully integrated and patient-centered cancer treatment in a state-of-the-art, 45,000-square-foot facility. 

Scheduled to open in December 2011, the Destination Cancer Center will unite many of the area’s finest cancer specialists – including physicians from Oncology Associates and Radiation Oncology of Cedar Rapids and others – within a single center. A formal affiliation was finalized this week between Mercy and Oncology Associates.

The new facility will conveniently connect to Mercy’s well-known and respected Hall Radiation Center at the corner of 10th Street and Fifth Avenue SE. It will offer patients access to leading-edge technologies and treatments, and includes Centers of Excellence for treating today’s most prevalent cancers: breast, lung, colorectal, prostate, brain, kidney/bladder, gynecologic, hematologic (blood) and melanoma (skin).

“Mercy Medical Center has an uncompromising vision of providing exceptional cancer care to the Cedar Rapids community and beyond,” says Tim Charles, president and CEO of Mercy. “The Destination Cancer Center is the next chapter in our long and impressive history, which began 110 years ago with the Sisters of Mercy.”

The $10.7 million building will be funded privately by Mercy due to the hospital’s strong financial position and the support of generous benefactors. The project will not require tax dollars and will not interrupt the current flow of traffic.

In the last year alone, Mercy has invested $5 million in a PET/CT scanner, Trilogy Linear Accelerator and a wide bore CT, which will be utilized by the Destination Cancer Center. Mercy developed its building plans recognizing that a Destination Cancer Center would best serve patients near established radiation services because 60 percent of all cancer patients require radiation treatment.

The center will include multi-disciplinary clinics that coordinate care among cancer experts, including medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pulmonologists and pathologists. Also incorporated in the center will be Mercy’s existing cancer-specific social workers, registered dietitians, genetic counselors, massage therapists and new nurse navigators to guide patients through the treatment process.

“As healthcare providers, our commitment is to continually look for ways to enhance the health of our patients,” said Dr. Martin Wiesenfeld, managing partner of Oncology Associates, whose staff will become Mercy employees. “This community has made tremendous efforts to realize the vision of a community cancer center. Now, with a thoughtful plan in place, it’s our duty to move forward. We’re pleased to have all the pieces in place to provide cancer patients with an unmatched continuum of care in the Cedar Rapids area.”

The vision in developing the Destination Community Cancer Center adheres to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) critical objectives, called “Triple Aim” – to improve the health of the community, enhance the patient’s experience, and reduce costs. IHI is the organization that recognizes Cedar Rapids as a national leader and model in providing high-quality, patient-centered care at a cost lower than the national average.

Site preparation begins this fall with groundbreaking in the spring. Mercy plans an “all local” approach to construction of the new facility, using area contractors and workers. Mercy will continue to work with OPN Architects on the design of the building.

Mercy welcomes public comments and questions regarding the new Destination Cancer Center at: