Karmanos Expands Cancer Network with Newest Location at McLaren Oakland

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and McLaren Oakland announced today it will open its 15th treatment location in Michigan at McLaren Oakland in Pontiac next month.  

“McLaren Oakland will soon be home to a new 21-bed inpatient state-of-the art oncology unit,” said Margaret Dimond, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, McLaren Oakland. “Karmanos Cancer Institute is one of the nation’s top cancer centers and as one of the newest Karmanos sites, we are pleased to provide an advanced level of care to our patients.”

The sixth floor of the hospital’s West Tower is undergoing a complete renovation for the 19,000 square foot cancer unit. Total project costs are estimated at $14 million and represent strategic investments by McLaren Health Care in the expansion of its cancer network following its acquisition of Karmanos in 2013.   

“Opening an oncology unit brings us closer to our strategic goal of setting new standards of health care for the community and our patients. We are committed to providing exceptional inpatient cancer care to those requiring surgery or hospitalization for disease complications,” Dr. Dimond added. An oncologic surgical center is being created for skilled surgeons to perform complex cancer surgeries and procedures. This will include collaboration with Karmanos’ main academic treatment and research campus located in Detroit along with surgical and gynecology oncology programs in Flint, Farmington Hills, and Bay City.

All patient rooms are single-bed rooms for privacy and there will be family waiting and sleeping areas. The unit also includes rooms for ICU and step-down staffed with clinicians who specialize in critical care. All private rooms are complete with hotel-like amenities and an acute care center will be part of the program allowing patients to avoid ER. This will be an important service extension for Karmanos’ presence in Northern Oakland County.

Karmanos recently announced its plans for a $47.5 million renovation to its Lawrence and Idell Weisberg Cancer Treatment Center in Farmington Hills in June. Karmanos and McLaren leadership believe there is a complement of services that can be provided between locations in Detroit, Farmington Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Clarkston, and now, Pontiac.

The new inpatient oncology unit will be led by noted hematologic oncologists Jeffrey Margolis, M.D. and Adil Akhtar, M.D. They are setting up a team approach with physicians, nurses, dietary, pharmacists, and social workers seeing patients with daily multidisciplinary rounds.

“Dr. Margolis and Dr. Akhtar are highly regarded clinicians who we welcome to Karmanos Cancer Institute.  Karmanos looks forward to close collaboration to build service offerings in the region,” said Justin F. Klamerus, M.D., MMM, president of Karmanos Cancer Hospital. “The Karmanos network currently operates 14 treatment locations in Michigan.  All of our centers undergo rigorous quality reviews and our providers are certified members of the cancer program. Each of our facilities work together to develop evidence-based care guidelines and best practices to enhance the care we provide for our patients,” added Klamerus.

“We are pleased to be part of the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Oakland. As clinicians, we want what’s best for our patients,” said Dr. Margolis. “We and our team welcome the opportunity to care for patients in this new inpatient unit where we can provide advanced medical and surgical oncologic patient services.  Not only will they receive outstanding care, but they will have increased access to Karmanos’ clinical trials for additional treatment options.”

Karmanos Cancer Institute has one of the nation’s largest clinical trials programs where the latest cancer-fighting drugs are available years before other hospitals.

“The strategy behind the expansion of our cancer network throughout the State of Michigan is focused squarely on improving access to the best cancer care and research available today. This expansion at McLaren Oakland and partnership with Dr. Margolis and his team is an excellent example of this market growth strategy,” said Dr. Klamerus. “We now touch nearly 20 percent of all cancer patients treated in Michigan.”

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