GENEVA – Later this year, Delnor Hospital will open its new cancer treatment center on the hospital’s Randall Road campus.
But in coming months, some of the most significant changes within Delnor’s operation may occur in points more removed from the main Geneva campus, as the health system that operates Delnor seeks to deepen its roster of doctors and expand Delnor’s brand in Kane and DeKalb counties.
“We want to make sure that health care is readily accessible where people live and work,” said Robert Friedberg, president of Delnor Hospital. “More and more families are going to move in, and they will need access to superb care.”
For months, contractors hired by Cadence, the health care company that runs both Delnor and Central DuPage hospitals, have progressed toward completion of construction on Delnor’s new cancer treatment center.
Begun last year, the cancer treatment center project will expand a smaller oncology medical building in the southeast corner of Delnor’s campus, near the corner of Randall and Keslinger roads in Geneva.
The building is scheduled to begin receiving patients in August. Cadence officials have said the new cancer treatment center will allow Delnor to centralize and expand radiation and oncology services at the hospital.
When Cadence presented the cancer center proposal to state regulators, health system officials had indicated that the project came as a response to the opening of other cancer treatment centers in the region and new cancer treatment centers in planning stages.
The $20 million project will serve as a centerpiece for more than $90 million of construction and renovation projects Cadence has planned for Delnor over the next three years to “reinvigorate the campus,” Friedberg said.
In addition to the improvements to Delnor’s Geneva facilities, Cadence has also expanded its health services in communities in which Delnor’s network has had less presence to date.
Friedberg noted Cadence’s ongoing projects to open a new urgent care facility and doctors’ offices in Aurora, and to open new doctors’ offices in Sugar Grove and Sycamore.
He said the health system has traditionally provided health care for families in those areas. But to date, those patients have needed to drive to Geneva.
He noted a particular emphasis on bringing Cadence-affiliated primary care services, as well as some specialties such as pediatric medicine, to communities in western Kane County and DeKalb County.
“The western side of our geographic area is an area where we see tremendous growth over the next 10 years,” Friedberg said.
Friedberg said Cadence does not believe it will offer services farther west than Sycamore, or farther south than Sugar Grove.
He specifically noted that Cadence does not intend to open offices in Kendall County.
Cadence’s emphasis on adding primary care physicians comes as numerous reports have indicated that the U.S. could face a shortage of primary care doctors.
In Kane County, for instance, the ratio of patients to primary care physicians increased from 1,590 residents for every primary care doctor in 2012 to 2,358 residents for every primary care doctor in the county in 2013, according to a report issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
Cadence is also seeking to increase its roster of medical specialists, Friedberg said. He said Cadence is recruiting scores of doctors in dozens of specialties and subspecialties.
Friedberg said Cadence has added more than 100 doctors in the past year.
He said he believes Cadence is building a reputation as a place where “incredibly well-trained physicians” can “practice at an academic level, but not be at an academic institution.”
“We’re not replacing physicians,” Friedberg said. “We’re adding.”