NexCore Celebrates Grand Opening for CHI Health Regional Cancer Center at St. Francis

An inside look at the infusion room

Denver-based NexCore Group, a national healthcare real estate (HRE) developer, celebrated the grand opening of the new CHI Health Regional Cancer Center at St. Francis in Grand Island Wednesday, Dec. 10.

NexCore personnel joined CHI Health St. Francis executives and the news media for the much-anticipated facility’s grand opening ceremony, one year and five months after breaking ground in July 2018.

NexCore Group Chief Development Officer Todd Varney says the firm is proud to have partnered with CHI Health St. Francis to create a “new center of excellence” designed to deliver the best cancer treatment to its patients, finally matching the caliber of its research and clinical trial programs.

“This new and outstanding cancer center is very special in that it builds upon a 30-year legacy of already-established cancer care that has been here for the residents of central Nebraska and northern Kansas,” Mr. Varney says.

“But this new facility not only doubles the size of its predecessor and connects directly to the hospital, it adds new, cutting-edge technologies and healing elements designed to meet the physical and emotional needs of cancer patients and their families. NexCore is very pleased to help bring a critical healthcare component to this growing region.”

CHI Health St. Francis President Edward Hannon says they were very fortunate to work with NexCore to execute the physicans’ vision of how to deliver care in this community. “They [NexCore] came to work with us, to listen to every thought they had and every idea of how this cancer center should look.”

“They put it to paper, brought the engineers together and hired the right contractors, many of them local in our community, to build this cancer center.”

CHI Health Medical Director Ryan Ramaekers, MD remarked that the current space didn’t allow for the teamwork that has become so crucial in cancer care.

“We have designed a space here that has a very open, collaborative area for all the staff and team to work together,” Mr. Ramaekers said.

“We really wanted this to be a special oasis for all patients that come here. We really think we can touch their lives even more than we already do by having the environment that was created here.”

The one-story, 40,380 square foot medical office building (MOB) replaces the former CHI Health St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center, better enabling CHI Health to support the community’s cancer care needs. The new, larger, on-campus facility is also conveniently located on a site adjacent to CHI St. Francis Hospital, accessible by a breezeway.  Construction of the new facility, which began June 2018, required a challenging demolition process of an existing building and relocation of several programs, but the carefully executed development plan enabled the hospital to remain operational and resulted only in minimal downtime for critical services.

The new Cancer Treatment Center (CTC) is equipped with a new TrueBeam® linear accelerator, a fully integrated system for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery. The center also features an infusion center with heated massage chairs, a 6,000 square foot healing garden, and a spiritual room featuring natural light. Expected to grow by 500 patients a year, the center is one of only 12 in the state of Nebraska with the prestigious ACOS CoC (American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer) designation.

The center will see its first patients Jan. 13, 2020.