Sarnia’s Bluewater Health planning cancer clinic renovations in 2024

A cancer clinic at Bluewater Health in Sarnia is expected to remain open during a $3.7-million renovation project planned for 2024, officials say.

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A cancer clinic at Bluewater Health in Sarnia is expected to remain open during a $3.7-million renovation project planned for 2024, officials say.

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Work is expected to begin in early next year and be completed in early 2025, the hospital said.

The clinic occupies about 557 square metres (6,000 square feet) of second-floor space in the Norman Street addition that opened nearly 15 years ago.

“The expansion of Bluewater Health’s Cancer Clinic will greatly benefit our patients, providing additional space and improved ease of access,” Bluewater Health oncologist Kenneth Yoshida said in a  release.

“This is necessary for our growing community and will help us to continue providing the highest standard of care for the people of Sarnia-Lambton.”

Renovations will be done in stages and the clinic will keep running during the roughly 12-month project, said Ray Meyer, Bluewater Health’s surgery and oncology director.

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“There will be no disruption in any care provided,” he said.

“The area that we’re renovating currently holds three physician offices, four assessment rooms, our cancer clinic navigator, pharmacy offices and reception space,” Meyer said.

But some services are currently in another location.

“This renovation is going to have one entry point for everything oncology,” Meyer said. “Patients will come in one door, be met by nurses and the reception staff in the cancer clinic and from there, they will either see the nurse for assessment and the oncologist” or receive treatment.

Changes also will provide new space for pharmacy consultations with patients, he said.

“We do have an outpatient pharmacy for oncology patients now,” but patients can find themselves standing in the hall outside it for consultations, Meyer said. “It’s not the most patient- and family-friendly.”

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Following renovations, there will be a consultation room where patients can discuss their medications with a pharmacist, he said.

“It’s really to work on patient flow and the experience of the patients and families,” Meyer said.

During the last year, the clinic had more than 475 new consultations for oncology treatment, he said.

“We do offer a wide variety of cancer treatments here to keep patients and families in Sarnia-Lambton,” Meyer said.

“We’ve got a third medical oncologist . . . joining our team in the fall,” he  added.

“This renovation will help with accommodating this new physician and we’re always looking for new ways to grow our program and offer more cancer treatment here to continue to provide the best cancer care possible.”

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Bluewater Health Foundation has committed to raising money to pay for the renovations.

Proceeds from a recent gala, featuring guest speaker Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser, will go to the project.

“The cancer clinic is vital in providing the very best of care for patients, while also keeping those patients close to home,” Kathy Alexander, the foundation’s executive director, said in a release.

“It will take significant community support and investment, and the foundation has committed to raising $3.7 million for the redevelopment . . . ,” she said. “We are asking our generous community to consider making a gift towards this upcoming project.”


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