Ascension expands cancer care with new Romeoville center

Ascension staff and local officials celebrate the grand opening of the new cancer care center on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at the Ascension Illinois Health Center, 500 S. Weber Road, Romeoville.

A new cancer center in Romeoville promises to deliver specialized treatment and expanded care to patients in the village and surrounding communities.

A public grand opening was held on Sunday for the center that is located within the Ascension Illinois Health Center building at 500 W. Weber Road.

Dr. Suby Rao, who specializes in medical oncology, told a crowd of Ascension staff and local officials that when he first started working with Ascension Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet about a year and a half ago, there was a small cancer center in the hospital.

“And since then, we have really expanded and you can see the result behind us now,” Rao said.

Ascension staff held a grand opening for a new cancer care center on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at the Ascension Illinois Health Center, 500 S. Weber Road, Romeoville.

The cancer care center is a new space and expansion of the existing program at the Joliet medical center, Ascension spokesman Timothy Nelson said.

Nelson said the Romeoville center will feature 11 exam rooms dedicated to oncology care and 22 infusion chairs. He said 16 of those chairs will be in private rooms and six in a common area.

“The treatments we’re bringing right into the Romeoville community are medical oncology, infusion and laboratory, with space for visiting specialties, such as radiology,” Nelson said.

Chris Shride, president of Ascension Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, speaks at the grand opening for a new cancer care center on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at the Ascension Illinois Health Center, 500 S. Weber Road, Romeoville.

While Sunday was the grand opening, the Romeoville center had its first patient day on July 11, according to Molly Schoepke, Ascension director for the oncology service line.

Dr. Kalisha Hill, Ascension regional chief medical officer for Joliet and Kankakee hospitals, said the Romeoville center is about providing cancer care “that goes beyond the original shock and diagnosis of knowing you have cancer.”

Hill said the center is drawing physicians from different specialties to provide “multi-disciplinary treatment plans for our patients.”

“They are designed to be specific for each person. Everyone manages their cancer different,” Hill said.

Illinois Senator Meg Loughran Cappel (center) attends the grand opening for a new cancer care center on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at the Ascension Illinois Health Center, 500 S. Weber Road, Romeoville.

Chris Shride, president of Ascension Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, told attendees the cancer center represents Ascension’s renewed commitment to the community and to the idea of how “God is working within the hands and feet” of physicians, radiologic technologists, nurses, registration staff and others.

Shride said Ascension staff seek to fight alongside patents and families struggling with cancer.

“But as we fight alongside them, we also want to support, we want to love, we want to care,” Shride said.

Romeoville Mayor John Noak said at the event that many people will benefit from having the cancer center and its services in Romeoville. He said the area where the center is located is “very vibrant.”

Romeoville Mayor John Noak at the grand opening for a new cancer care center on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at the Ascension Illinois Health Center, 500 S. Weber Road, Romeoville.

“This investment, again, takes us to another level when it comes to the health care and the long health of our people in the community and all the neighboring areas,” Noak said.

The cancer center was blessed on Sunday by hospital chaplains Sister Josephine Mulcahey and Eric Ngum.

“We are trusting that when people who will be facing the battle and the war with cancer come here, that they will find hope and strength and healing and reconciliation,” Ngum said during his prayer.