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Medical services to expand in Woodbury with cancer treatment, children’s clinic

Woodbury’s Children’s Hospital clinic is moving to a new location outside the medical district to make way for a new cancer treatment center coming to the Woodwinds Health Campus.

An application to build a 21,500 square-foot building to house the new Children’s Hospital clinic near the Sheraton Hotel was approved by the Woodbury Planning Commission this week. Meanwhile, HealthEast continues plans to build a clinic on the east side of the city that’s set to open by next fall.

Children’s Hospital will vacate its current location at the Oak Center near Woodwinds hospital in September 2014, while HealthEast preps the space to move existing clinic services there and bring radiology and oncology services to Woodwinds’ Birch Center.

Children’s officials say they’ve outgrown their current space and the new location will better serve patients of the area.

“Children’s is committed to the kids and families we serve in the east metro and in western Wisconsin,” said Justin Theodotou, spokesperson for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. “Those services will initially include endocrinology and diabetes, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech language pathology.”

HealthEast Care System, Woodwinds’ parent company, was a direct beneficiary of a bill signed into law last spring to lift a moratorium on radiation treatment centers in the Twin Cities.

The legislation makes it possible to move radiation equipment from St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood to the Woodwinds campus.

The new law specifically allows Woodwinds a reprieve under the moratorium, which won’t be lifted until 2014.

Len Kaiser, director of network development for HealthEast, said the company plans to take advantage of the growth on the east side of Woodbury, while moving the cancer treatment services to the Woodwinds campus.

“We hope to begin construction early next year on a new clinic over there,” he said. “That will allow part of the Woodbury clinic to relocate there.”

The Children’s Hospitals clinic currently occupies about one-third of the Oak Center with the remainder housing the Woodwinds Ways to Wellness program and HealthEast Optimum Rehabilitation.

Once Children’s moves out of the Oak Center, HealthEast will reconfigure to move the Woodbury Clinic out of Woodwinds’ Birch Center and integrate it with Optimum Rehabilitation and Ways to Wellness.

“Which will then allow us to complete our cancer center,” Kaiser said, adding that it will be remodeled and should open by the end of next year. “It’s in high demand as the population continues to grow and there is more seniors,” he said of oncology services. “There is also a convenience factor.”

The east side multi-specialist clinic will include primary care, internal medicine and family medicine. Some of the services, like midwives, will stay at the current location at the Birch Center for better connectivity with the hospital.

Kaiser said the project will be done in phases, starting with the new clinic, moving clinic services out of the Birch Center, opening up radiation treatment at the hospital and finishing up with expanding the medical oncology a year later.

“The entire project will be done by the end of 2015,” he said.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.