Kootenai Medical Center plans to open a satellite cancer center in Post Falls to serve a growing number of patients.
More than 200 patients are seen daily at the North Idaho Cancer Center in Coeur d’Alene, a figure that’s increased by double-digit percentage points over the past three years, said Carmen Brochu, KMC’s vice president of patient care services.Demand has resulted in delays for patients who need to see an oncologist. Since the cancer center is limited in its ability to expand physically in Coeur d’Alene, KMC opted for satellite services in Post Falls and Sandpoint, Brochu said.
In Sandpoint, KMC worked with Bonner General Hospital open a 4,600-square-foot cancer treatment center at the hospital this fall.
In Post Falls, KMC plans to open a 6,000- to 7,000-square-foot satellite cancer center at its campus on Mullan Avenue. Construction will start next fall, with costs estimated in the $2.5 million to $3.5 million range. Two full-time oncologists will work in Post Falls, Brochu said.
Demand for cancer services is driven partly by the area’s rapid growth and an aging population, Brochu said.
In addition, “as many of our oncologists describe it, cancer is not necessarily a death sentence anymore,” she said. “As people are living longer, it becomes a chronic disease and they stay in treatment much longer.”