The largest renovation project at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital has begun to greatly increase the availability of cancer care and advanced treatments for Northern Utah. The project will be the largest construction project at the hospital since it opened at its current location in 2002.
The new cancer center will be located on the first floor of McKay-Dee Hospital with major renovations happening inside the building. A “groundbreaking” ceremony was held last week with caregivers, patients, and dignitaries for the new state-of-the-art cancer center.
“This is going to help a lot of people here in Ogden and around Northern Utah,” said Mike Clark, McKay-Dee Hospital administrator. “I am proud of our cancer care teams and look forward to everything that this new center will be able to provide. We want this to be a place we will call home for our community in need.”
The Intermountain Cancer Center will have upgrades to the services currently being offered. Including increasing hospital infusion eight to twelve bays, and chemotherapy infusion bays will increase from 16 to 24. A compounding pharmacy will be added adjacent to the Infusion bays to facilitate faster treatment.
The cancer center will bring several teams together for more collaborative patient care. The center will have the medical oncology clinic, genetic counseling services, clinical trials program, a new linear accelerator and all infusion in the center to provide integrated cancer treatments.
The design of the Intermountain Cancer Center will also focus on creating a more comfortable space as patients and families get care for a cancer diagnosis. New artwork around the walls, comforting outdoor views for those getting infusion, these are some of the focus of the work to give the best patient experience possible.
The Intermountain Cancer Center at McKay-Dee Hospital is projected to be completed in the Fall of 2023.
Creation of the new cancer center was made possible by generous donations of many. Over $4 million in gifts and donations to the Intermountain Foundation will make the new cancer center a reality. One of the major donations was from the Smith family in memory of James (Jimmy) Ashment. At the event, Celeste Ashment, wife of Jimmy spoke about him and the donation at the groundbreaking. Jimmy passed away in 2019 from incurable bladder cancer.
“I would rather do something behind the scenes and have no one knew who did it, until I realized what a great legacy this will be for my kids,” said Celeste Ashment. “Because I can change that he is not here, and a part of him can live on.”
Dr. Derrick Haslem, oncologist lead physician for Intermountain Cancer Services, helped the Ashment family during the trials of his cancer. He understands the tribulations that encounter families dealing with cancer and sees the new center as a greater way to help.
“There really have been a lot of advances in the way we think about cancer, and the way we treat cancer,” Dr. Haslem said. “Taking a more holistic approach to someone’s care really makes a difference. To be able to have a team that helps to support the patient, not only physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well, it really helps have a better quality of life during that time period.”