Olivia Hospital & Clinic expands oncology services
Opening of infusion center adjoing clinic fulfills promise to expand on-site oncology care
OLIVIA — Cancer treatment can be a very difficult time, and accessing that care can sometimes pose an additional challenge for rural patients.
Many need to make long-distance trips to large medical centers, and some of those trips are made over ice-covered and snow-blown roads.
This winter’s been especially challenging that way, which has made the timing of the expansion of on-site oncology services by the Olivia Hospital & Clinic all the more important. Important enough, in fact, that the Olivia Chamber of Commerce awarded the hospital and clinic staff a progress award to recognize it for the promised expansion.
It’s all about a commitment to providing “care close to home,” said Nathan Pulscher, president of Olivia Hospital & Clinic, as he accepted the award during a brief ceremony on March 21.
The expansion of on-site oncology care fulfills a promise made when the Olivia Hospital & Clinic, formerly RC Hospital & Clinics, joined HealthPartners.
Last June, the hospital opened a specialty clinic within the facility for cancer care.
It expanded cancer care in late January by offering on-site infusions in newly dedicated rooms adjoining the clinic. The area includes two rooms dedicated for infusions, and a third “fast track” room for infusions and procedures that can be completed in a short period of time.
“It’s been really nice,” said Naomi Freyholtz, registered nurse for the oncology clinic and infusion center. Without a doubt, she said the patients appreciate being able to access the care close to home and avoid the time spent and worries that can come with traveling out-of-town.
Freyholtz said medical providers appreciate the benefits made possible by the expansion in on-site care as well. Providing a full continuum of care on site allows providers and patients to get to know one another on a more personal level.
Patients are responding to the availability of the expanded care, according to Pulscher. “It took a little while to break the ice and once we broke the ice it happened,” Pulscher said.
The opening of the expanded care came as the Olivia Hospital & Clinic was able to meet its staffing goals, according to Pulscher.
A recruitment effort has allowed the hospital to fill all of its vacant provider and nursing positions. A number of the nursing positions were filled within the last few weeks.
“I can tell you our recruitment team is shortening the time between interview and offer and telling the story about doing great things here,” he said.