The Peoria-based OSF Healthcare system will borrow $450 million this fall with the money financing construction of a new comprehensive cancer center in Peoria.
“The bond issue will also be used to refinance existing bonds and lower our interest rates on those bonds. The market conditions have made it favorable for OSF to move forward with the financing,” said OSF Healthcare Chief Financial Officer Mike Allen.
The cost of the cancer center and adjoining 10-story parking deck on the OSF campus in Peoria announced in December 2019 was $237 million. The new estimate, according to OSF, is $250 million. OSF also is trying to raise $100 million in donations for the cancer center, suggesting the existing debt reissue portion of the total package will be in the $300 million range.
Allen said the cancer center project is expected to begin in the spring. OSF has estimated treatment at the facility could begin in 2023.
“Work on the design of the Comprehensive Cancer Center is proceeding on schedule. In late 2020 we will begin work on preparing the site by relocating some patient care services and begin demolition of existing buildings in order to bring the Cancer Center one step closer to reality,” said Bob Anderson, president of OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center.
OSF said Illinois ranks seventh in the nation for cancer cases, and downstate is projected to see 10,000 new cases per year.
It is unclear how the pandemic could affect that number with some people deferring medical treatment or diagnosis out of fear of the coronavirus, or because of limited access to health facilities during the statewide shutdown earlier this year, said OSF.
OSF has touted the center as a regional destination with proton beam therapy. One other center in Illinois offers that tool.
“We have always recognized the severe burden and hardship that cancer places on virtually every family we serve. Together we will create a place where cancer care begins and ends with a focus on treating the whole person,” Sister Judith Ann Duvall, OSF Healthcare board chair, said earlier this month.
The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved a certificate of need to build the cancer center in February.
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