Partnership Between St. John, Tulsa Cancer Institute Could Affect Thousands
TULSA, Oklahoma - Patients who receive their cancer treatments at St. John Medical Center will soon have to go to a new location, and thousands will be affected.
Each year, doctors at St. John Medical Center and other facilities around the area see over 26,000 people for outpatient care. Now, those patients will go to Tulsa Cancer Institute to receive most of their treatments, and the closest facility is about ten miles away.
Thousands of Oklahomans are diagnosed with cancer every year. Many seek outpatient treatment at St. John Medical Center, but soon, those patients will head to TCI.
"We are not getting out of the cancer business if you will, or the care of our patients. Really, what this is about, is setting up more convenience for patients on the outpatient side," said St. John Medical Center CEO Jeff Nowlin.
St. John is already partnered with MD Anderson, and Nowlin said teaming up with TCI will provide the best cancer treatment in the state.
"Both organizations have very similar values, and the way we go about caring for our patients and the community,” he said.
TCI has locations in Bartlesville, McAlester and Stillwater; the largest is the one in Tulsa.
TCI is strictly an outpatient facility, and Dr. Steven Buck said it's what makes their cancer center stand out from the rest. He said it will also save patients money.
“We are cost effective, both for Medicare and insurances, as compared to a hospital-based programs," Buck said.
Soon, more chairs will be added at TCI to make room for the additional patients. Also, some St. John oncologists will move into the building.
"We hope it will be relatively seamless for the patients that have been at St. John," Buck said.
Along with the new partnership will come a new name, Oklahoma Cancer Specialists.
If cancer patients do need to be hospitalized they will still receive treatment at St. John Medical Center.
The partnership will be finalized in February, so nothing will be different for patients until then.