When a state board approved a new cancer treatment center in New Lenox two years ago, former Will County Board member and cancer survivor Laurie Smith said she was thrilled.
"Most people, when they find out they have cancer, have weeks if not months of treament, and it can be hard if you have to go to Chicago," she said in a previous article. "The impact on family members, when they have such a high-quality facility here, will be monumental."
That facility opens Tuesday, June 19, with a public grand opening that includes public tours, a farmers market and free cooking and gardening demonstrations.
The $21.6 million cancer center, developed by HSA PrimeCare, is a partnership between Silver Cross Hospital and the University of Chicago Medical Center. Silver Cross opened its replacement campus at Interstate 355 and Route 6 in New Lenox back in February.
As Will County's population continues to grow, hospital officials say the cancer center will be vital to the area. According to Silver Cross, 70 percent of county residents diagnosed with cancer seek care outside of Will County.
“These people are searching for expertise, for access to new technologies, for life-saving possibilities from new clinical trials,” hospital CEO Paul Pawlak said. “They are traveling far to unfamiliar places searching for hope. Our solution is to bring this hope closer to home.”
The University of Chicago Medicine oncology department will occupy 10,224 square feet of the building, and a University-Silver Cross Hospital joint practice in oncology will occupy 9,661 square feet. The state-of-the-art cancer facility will open for patients June 25. To schedule an appointment, call 1-855-UCM-1400.
Grand Opening Information
- When: 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19
- Where: 1850 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox (near I-355 and Route 6)
Tours: The public is invited to take a self-guided tour around the new cancer center.
Farmers Market: A variety of seasonal produce, plants, and fresh flowers will be available for purchase from several local growers during the grand opening.
Cooking Demo: John Woods, Harrah’s Casino Joliet executive chef, will provide a free cooking demonstration at the grand opening. Woods will give healthy cooking demos at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Gardening Demo: Kevin Eberhard, Joliet Park District chief horticulturist for the Birdhaven Greenhouse/Barber & Oberwortmann Horticultural Center, will hold free gardening demonstrations 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
More: Participants can register to win tickets to Friday's Sara Evans concert in New Lenox as well as to Chicago White Sox and Joliet Slammers baseball games. Baseball legend Ron Kittle will sign autographs throughout the event.
Read more from the hospital's opening day:
- VIDEO: Thousands Tour New Silver Cross Hospital
- VIDEO: Silver Cross Hospital, From Start to Finish
- First Baby Born at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox
- Silver Cross Hospital Wows Patients, Families in Transition to New Lenox