McLaren Port Huron – a leader in healing, your partner in health.

State-of-the-art cancer center planned for McLaren Port Huron

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Letter of intent filed with Michigan Department of Community Health seeking approval for project
Port Huron, Mich. -- McLaren Port Huron and McLaren Health Care filed a letter of intent today with the Michigan Department of Community Health to build a cancer center in Port Huron that will bring the most modern technology and facilities in the Blue Water region for cancer treatment, planning and simulation. Plans include infusion therapy, radiation therapy, additional imaging technology and ample space for patient and community education. 

McLaren Health Care operates the largest network of community-based cancer centers in the state. The new Port Huron cancer center, yet to be named, will be managed locally.  The new relationship also connects patients with McLaren’s new proton beam therapy – one of 11 such facilities in the United States. 

Plans for the estimated $20 million construction project include new imaging services and the purchase of an Elekta VersaHD linear accelerator, leading-edge technology that delivers the most effective radiation therapy available.  In addition, the new facility will house all of McLaren Port Huron’s traditional cancer treatment and resources for an integrated patient experience. Construction of the facility could start in fall 2014, with an anticipated opening in 2015. 

According to the latest data from the Michigan Department of Community Health, cancer incidence trends in St. Clair County have increased by 6.5 percent over the last 15 years.  Since 1996, the top four cancer diagnoses in the county remain prostate, lung, breast and colon.  At McLaren Port Huron, breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer diagnosed in 2012, followed by lung cancer.  

“Based on growing cancer evidence in St. Clair County, it’s apparent that a comprehensive, state-of-the-art facility and new radiation equipment will serve cancer patients in the community well.  The new facility will greatly strengthen access to new therapies and treatments available locally,” says Justin Klamerus, M.D., M.M.M., chief quality officer and executive vice president of community-based programs for McLaren’s cancer network.  

“McLaren has committed to significant investments for improving our facilities, growing our services and expanding our local market. This multi-million investment is the first of many expansion efforts from which patients will benefit,” says Thomas DeFauw, CEO and president, McLaren Port Huron.  “It’s a great example of the value our new relationship with McLaren will bring to the community.”

The decision to proceed with the expansion of oncology services comes just six weeks after the Blue Water Health Services Board announced it would be joining McLaren Health Care.  The definitive agreement, expected to be finalized in the next several months, will make Port Huron Hospital McLaren’s 12th member hospital.  Under the terms, the Blue Water Health Services board and the McLaren Health Care board committed to service growth, facility and equipment improvements, employee and physician commitments, and charting a course for success under new healthcare reform requirements.

“McLaren Port Huron’s current cancer program has evolved into a mature, well-respected superior program,” says Thomas DeFauw.  “We’re making decisions now to advance our system beyond today’s needs to continue to be strong for the future, with the ultimate goal of providing the very best in today’s cancer treatment.”


About McLaren Port Huron
McLaren Port Huron is a 186-bed, not-for-profit, community hospital that provides a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services to residents in St. Clair and Sanilac counties. Committed to making a positive difference in the health of our communities since 1882, McLaren Port Huron has been recognized repeatedly for clinical excellence and patient safety by nationally renowned organizations known for their measurements of hospitals and healthcare systems.

Among hospital services are specialized centers including the Women's Wellness Place, McLaren Port Huron Physical Therapy, Port Huron Hospital Bariatric Center of Michigan, McLaren Port Huron Wound Healing, McLaren Port Huron Pain Services, McLaren Port Huron Center for Sleep Medicine and McLaren Port Huron Outpatient Counseling.

About McLaren Health Care
McLaren Health Care Corporation, headquartered in Flint, MI, is a fully integrated health network, committed to quality, evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 11 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, the state’s only proton therapy center, an employed primary care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering over 250,000 lives, home health care and hospice, durable medical equipment, retail pharmacy services, and a wholly-owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates the state’s largest network of community-based cancer centers.  McLaren has 19,500 employees and more than 20,000 network physicians. The operations and services of MHC are housed in over 300 facilities serving a 53-county market with a population in excess of 6.5 million lives. Learn more at