The building of southern Illinois' first freestanding cancer center is a major step closer to reality.
The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board Tuesday approved Southern Illinois Healthcare's certificate of need to build the center in Williamson County. SIH CEO Rex Budde says the board's unanimous approval says a lot about the critical nature of building this facility. Budde says the $23 million center will bring all of SIH's cancer care services under one roof. He says the board will discuss a date for the groundbreaking this summer. Budde says construction will take about two years. Earlier this spring SIH still needed to raise about $10-million in local funds to make the project possible.
The facility is to be located on Route 13 in Carterville just west of John A. Logan College. SIH says the site selection was critical in terms of accessibility, as many southern counties are among those with the highest cancer incident rates in Illinois. In fact, with the exception of Jackson County, the majority of counties in deep southern Illinois have cancer rates that are higher than the state average.