(Alton, IL) – A public open house will give area residents a chance to meet one of the area’s newest medical oncologists and tour the new cancer infusion center in Suite 303 of Saint Clare’s Professional Building on Thursday, December 13, from 4 to 6 p.m.

The remodeled area features a stress reducing environment for individuals receiving chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment, says E.J. Kuiper, President & CEO of Saint Anthony’s Health Center. “A family/visitor lounge with a soothing décor – including a fireplace and flat screen television -- helps to create a peaceful atmosphere for patients and families,” he adds.

In addition to chemotherapy, services and treatments provided in the infusion center include: IV antibiotic therapy, hydration therapy, injection services (examples: B-12, Aranesp, Prolia), medication infusions (examples: Iron, Reclast), therapeutic phlebotomy, transfusions of blood and bone marrow biopsies.

Kevin Palka, M.D., Board Certified Medical Oncologist and Hematologist, will start seeing patients in the newly renovated area on Wednesday, January 2. As a cancer specialist, Dr. Palka has most recently treated patients at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he also served as Assistant Professor of Medicine. A Duke University undergraduate and Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Palka attended medical school at the University of Texas in Dallas. He completed advanced Fellowship training in Hematology/Oncology at Vanderbilt University in 2009 and is board certified in Oncology and Hematology, as well as in Internal Medicine.

Joining Dr. Palka in the summer is Dr. Manpreet Sandhu, Medical Oncologist and Hematologist. She is currently receiving advanced Fellowship training in Hematology and Medical Oncology through the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in New Jersey, where she also completed her internship and residency. Board certified in internal medicine, Dr. Sandhu provides treatment for all cancers and specializes in breast cancer.

Dr. Sandhu will be on hand to meet members of the community at the event.

Earlier this year, Saint Anthony’s cancer program received special recognition as one of a select group of 106 currently accredited cancer programs across the United States and one of six in Illinois to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer that recognizes top cancer programs for providing quality cancer care.

In September, Saint Anthony’s was also acknowledged by The Joint Commission, the nation’s leading authority on healthcare organizations, as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures in the nation for delivering outstanding patient care. And just last week, The Leapfrog Group awarded Saint Anthony’s an “A” grade for outstanding quality of care and patient safety.

Free valet parking, tours, refreshments and more will be featured during the Open House. To register for the event, please call 618-465-2264.  For more information about Saint Anthony’s Health Center, visit www.sahc.org.

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