UCMed Expands Plans for City’s First Freestanding Cancer Facility Based on Community Input

UCMed undertook an extensive feedback process over a 10-month period to ensure the new facility best serves the needs of South Side community members.


UChicago Medicine

University of Chicago Medicine

By Naina Purushothaman

On February 15, UChicago Medicine released updated plans for Chicago’s first freestanding cancer facility, located on East 57th Street between South Maryland and Drexel Avenues.

The 575,000-square-foot cancer facility will be an $815 million project with the possibility of future expansion, which is a budget increase from its original plan. The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved a permit in March 2022, which began the process and allowed UCMed to spend time communicating with cancer patients and survivors in the local community.

A February 15 press release also detailed the 10-month process through which UCMed collected and incorporated input from South Side residents. The effort to solicit input from South Side residents consisted of volunteers, a telephone poll, town halls, community meetings, and 200,000 surveys administered in person, on social media, and in newsletters.

According to the press release, the incidence of cancer on the South Side is predicted to rise by 19 percent over the next five years. This statistic puts the South Side at nearly double the incidence compared to the other counties surrounding the City of Chicago.

In the press release, Tom Jackiewicz, president of the UChicago Medicine health system, wrote, “We have an opportunity to build a world-class facility for our patients and the community that propels UChicago Medicine to become the premier destination for comprehensive cancer care, where groundbreaking science and compassionate care meet to provide an unrivaled approach to conquering cancer.”

UCMed has had a history of groundbreaking cancer-related discoveries. In 2017, UCMed was the first hospital in Illinois to offer therapy for adults with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, as well as for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Back in 1943, UCMed also laid the groundwork for using chemotherapy to treat cancers.

“We will be building a model for groundbreaking cancer care and prevention, established on the principles of access, equity, dignity and innovation, right here on the South Side of Chicago,” said Mark Anderson, MD, Ph.D., executive vice president for medical affairs in UCMed’s statement.

Construction on the new facility is set to begin in 2023, and UCMed plans to open it by 2027.