New Oncology Clinic at Erie Shores HealthCare Reduces Cancer Patients Commute Time

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Diagnosed with bladder cancer three years ago, John Loncke now utilizes his extra time for activities such as golfing, lunching, and walking his dog before attending his fortnightly immunotherapy sessions. The recent inauguration of an Oncology and Outpatient Care Clinic at Erie Shores HealthCare, has significantly shortened his commute, reducing his drive time remarkably.

In comparison to the near one-hour journey to Windsor, Loncke proclaims that reaching the clinic now merely requires a fifteen to twenty-minute drive. The new clinic, which opened its doors in Leamington, provides advanced cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

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But that’s not all; the facility is also equipped to offer outpatient medical services, which range from blood transfusions and iron infusions to surgical operations. These services are designed to not necessitate an overnight stay for patients, thereby offering a more accessible and convenient healthcare option to individuals necessitating specialized medical care.

Hospital officials emphasized the increasing need for a cancer care clinic in Essex County. Their intent is not merely to decreased waiting times but to accommodate the escalating demand from approximately 300 new cancer patients diagnosed annually in Windsor-Essex.

Jonathan Foster, vice president of the Erie St. Clair Regional Cancer Program, explained, “We typically usher in oncologist consultations within a fortnight of receiving the primary referral. Treatment thereafter commences within another fortnight to a month.” He mentions that the magnified patient volume is being tackled, given the anticipated surge in cases.

The Leamington clinic operates from Tuesday through Friday, treating five patients daily. Initial consultations are arranged at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre before referring patients to Leamington. As Kristin Kennedy, president and CEO of Erie Shores HealthCare, stated, the clinic abstains from carrying out “extensive treatments potentially leading to severe adverse reactions”.

The clinic focusses on stabilized regimens, dealing with breast, lung, skin, gastrointestinal, and urinary cancers. Loncke, now 81 years old, hasn’t returned to Windsor for his immunotherapy treatments since the Leamington clinic initiated its pilot project two months prior. In his words, “there’s no end in sight,” adding that the ability to attend sessions in Leamington serves as a “real bonus”.

Erie Shores HealthCare has clarified that cancer care patients across Essex County, including those from Windsor, are welcome to receive treatment at the Leamington hospital, conditional on a mutual decision between the oncologist and the hospital.