Sanford Joe Lueken Cancer Center Prepares To Welcome First Patients
A week from today, the new Sanford Joe Lueken Cancer Center will welcome its first few patients. Last week, we gave you a short look at the Cancer Center, but today, we can tell you why exactly it’s revolutionary for the city of Bemidji. What used to take three or more trips can now happen all in the same place.
“When you have cancer and you need treatment, you need labs, you need to get you infusions. You maybe need radiation. You might need to talk to a chaplain or palliative care. So, our patients currently have to go to three different buildings and different areas in those buildings, and now it’s all under one roof,” says Karla Eischens, the regional director of pharmacy for Sanford Bemidji.
From oncology and pathology to radiation and even the new infusion pharmacy, the Joe Lueken Cancer Center houses it all. The building also makes it easier for staff members to collaborate.
“One of the problems is that oncology, it’s all teamwork and we practice as a group and besides our group of physicians, we have other doctors in the hospital that we rely on,” says Dr. Peter Friedell, MD, the chairman of the oncology department.
Previous and current patients, as well as staff members, were consulted for the design of the building.
Rebekah Kraft, the oncology service manager, says, “When they come to us in this new setting, they will all experience a private treatment space where they’ve got visual privacy with our curtains. They’ve got audible privacy with our doors, and then they can come out of that treatment space when they so choose and gather with other patients or other caregivers and family members in our lounge space.”
The building was named after Bemidji humanitarian Joe Lueken, who passed away after a battle with cancer back in 2014.