CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. - “We pray for the day when miracles will happen here.” Mercy Hospital Jefferson Board member and pastor of Good News Church, the Rev. Jack King looked to the future in his prayer to open Monday’s ground-breaking ceremony for the new Cancer Center.
Nearly 100 people attended the event including many local dignitaries, construction company representatives, physicians and co-workers. Several stayed after the event to pose for photos with the large artist’s rendering of the new building.
“The new center represents an $18 million investment for Mercy Jefferson,” said President Eric Ammons. “The new building will be 21,531 square feet, more than double the size of the existing cancer center, which was built 20 years ago.”
The center will be built by Musick Construction and was designed by Bates and Associates, based on input from patients.
“In addition to a healing garden, it will feature amenities like its own specialty retail shop for cancer patients, a chapel and dedicated parking specifically for patients,” Ammons said.
Mercy Hospital Jefferson Board Chair Tonda Breeze invited participants to take part in the ceremony. Pictured above from left are Don Musick, president of Musick Construction, cancer survivor Debbie Boren of De Soto, Sister Judy Carron RSM, Crystal City Administrator Jason Eisenbeis, Eric Ammons, Tonda Breeze, Mercy East Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Charles Rehm, Mercy East Communities President Donn Sorensen, oncologist Dr. Bhaskara Gadi, radiation oncologist Dr. Timothy O’Leary, oncologist Dr. Syed Huq, State Rep. Elaine Gannon, and Mercy Health Foundation board chair Bill McKenna.
“It is such a privilege for me to be here representing you, our community, in today’s ceremony,” Breeze said. “As our community has grown, so have our health care needs. We should all be proud of how Jefferson Memorial Hospital and now Mercy Hospital Jefferson have kept pace with those health care needs.”
An unscheduled highlight in the ceremony followed the ground-breaking when Ammons announced that patients in the new infusion area on the north side of the North Medical Office Building were looking out the windows watching the event. The gathered crowd waved to those patients being treated from the site where that healing will take place in the future.
Work on the site began almost as quickly as the ceremony ended as crews from Musick installed a perimeter fence around the property and started earth-moving work. The center is expected to be completed by Fall of 2017.
“About this time next year we will welcome you all back for a grand opening event that will be a true celebration,” Ammons said.