IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – In Dickinson County, the recently launched cancer center project at Marshfield Medical Center Dickinson Hospital is progressing well, on schedule for a potential opening in May 2024. The project, now 2/3 funded, has garnered significant community support for its fundraising campaign.
Marshfield Medical Center Dickinson Hospital broke ground on its new cancer center back in June. The project, six years in the making, was celebrated by 50-plus community representatives at its initial groundbreaking ceremony. The center, featuring both medical and radiation oncology conveniently in one building, aims to enhance patient comfort and facilitate collaboration between specialists. At the groundbreaking ceremony this summer, Senator Ed McBroom expressed excitement to WZMQ about the facility’s impact on the community and praised efforts to keep the hospital thriving, and Dr. Morel shared looking forward to working more closely with colleagues for the best patient outcomes. The facility aims to be a pinnacle in cancer care, eliminating the need for travel.
In an update on the project’s advancements, hospital spokesperson Joe Rizzo, WZMQ’s media coordinator, mentioned, “Certainly they’re looking to hire another oncologist, so they’re anticipating an increase in volume, and I think the fact that it’s an improved treatment area, and we have the latest technology. Really everything we have is cutting edge right now, and when you bring in the clinical research and trials, it really raises the level of care, because now they’re doing stuff that’s experimental, and there are people that like to be involved in that.”
“We did have a Director of clinical research oncologist from Marshfield. He came up and gave a speech to potential donors and staff members. And he talked about the different levels of clinical research. [I think] depending upon types of cancer determines what levels patients may participate in,” mentioned Rizzo.
Rizzo emphasized the local construction company, Gundlach Champion, playing a vital role with a compassionate approach to the project. The subcontractors have embraced this project with a sense of purpose, going above and beyond typical construction engagements. This compassionate side of the local contractors is something that the medical center is super proud of.
“On Tuesday, I wanted to see how things were progressing, and I was very surprised. I mean obviously it’s nice that everything’s on schedule,” he stated, knocking on wood, “but I don’t want to jinx it, but they’re doing a great job. The project manager, one of the things he said was that the subcontractors that are on the job really have embraced this project. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a cancer center, and they feel like it’s a sense of purpose. It gives them a little more than, like if you build an office building or an apartment building,” said Rizzo.
Rizzo added, “If you build a cancer center, you might feel like you’re part of a larger cause. And he didn’t say that, but that’s the only explanation I could find for the way he said how vested the contractors were in this project. He said he had contractors coming up weeks in advance to plan and prep before they even came on the site. He said that’s rare. He said you don’t always see that in the line of work. There’s a compassionate side to all these construction workers.”
The cancer center will feature 11 private infusion rooms, a Nourishment center, and house both Hematology oncology and Radiation oncology under the same roof. The design prioritizes natural sunlight, creating a more positive space for patients. Rizzo added, “This will be the pinnacle of cancer care, eliminating the need for patients to travel for advanced treatments.”
Excitement surrounds the project’s potential impact, with plans to engage local high school students through a healthcare career day in 2025. Rizzo shared information about a healthcare career day in the works, pioneered by the Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance. “Marshfield, the VA, and other healthcare providers will collaborate to provide interactive and educational updates, fostering interest in healthcare careers among sophomore students from six area high schools.”
To contribute to the new cancer center, visit the Marshfield Clinic Health System website under the ‘giving’ section, or visit: