Out-patient cancer treatment — ended at University Medical Center in November during budget cuts — should be available again later this year at Southern Nevada’s only public hospital.
On Wednesday, the UMC board of trustees, which consists of members of the Clark County Commission, finalized an agreement between the hospital and the Nevada Cancer Institute to create a 13,000-square-foot outpatient oncology clinic that Dr. John Ruckdeschel, director and CEO of the institute, called “a true collaborative effort between public and private entities committed to improving cancer care in Southern Nevada.”
In an appearance before the board, Ruckdeschel estimated that the new clinic, made possible by a $3 million grant from the Lincy Foundation to the institute, will begin providing care by late summer or early fall.
The clinic, which will become a satellite location of the Summerlin-based institute, will be built in what had been the admissions department on the first floor of the main hospital building. It will offer a full complement of cancer services, including medical oncology, malignant hematology services and radiation oncology.
Lawrence Weekly, chairman of the county hospital’s board, thanked Ruckdeschel for his leadership on the project.
Hospital CEO Kathy Silver said the agreement is a realization by the community of the need for outpatient care at UMC.
When the outpatient cancer treatment program was shuttered, uninsured and under-insured cancer patients were afraid their only realistic chance at life had disappeared.
Their stories were so heart-rending they moved beyond local news outlets and were eventually portrayed on “60 Minutes,” the CBS TV news show.
Under the finalized agreement that sees the institute leasing space from UMC, patients will get access to specialized physicians and the latest technology.
Ruckdeschel, who stresses that the new program is a great improvement on what UMC offered before, has repeatedly said the clinic should support itself financially.
Contact reporter Paul Harasim at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2908.