There's a new partnership happening in Pottsville between Schuylkill Health Systems and Geisinger Health Systems that looks to bring better cancer care to the region, and it opened just this week.
We got a look inside a new, 1.8 million dollar oncology clinic in Pottsville. It's located at Schuylkill Medical Center's East Campus, on East Norwegian Street.
"We're going to have two physicians that rotate through the facility, two oncologists/hematologists," said Thomas Graves, Geisinger's Vice President of Cancer Services.
He and John E. Simodejka, President and CEO of Schuylkill Health Systems, showed Newswatch 16 the renovated center. Both said the need for an oncology facility in the Pottsville area is great, and continues to grow. They cited statistics that nearly 1,200 new cancer patients are reported in Pottsville and the surrounding areas each year. Many of those patients are currently traveling- to Allentown, Philadelphia, or other areas- to be treated.
"There was a single provider in the area, and we felt that we could add specialty care and it would be successful," said Graves.
Some of the services now offered include chemotherapy and IV treatment for blood disorders. There are also new exam rooms and a new, specialized pharmacy. The building is owned by Schuylkill Health Systems but will be run using Geisinger doctors, with full access to Geisinger's programs and clinical trials.
"The biggest winners of this are the patients in Schuylkill County who now won't have to travel outside Schuylkill County for advanced cancer care," said Simodejka.