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St. Joseph’s Opens New Oncology Unit

SYRACUSE – St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center established a new oncology unit Oct. 29. The 16-bed unit, which is totally dedicated to the care of cancer patients, consists of eight private and four semi-private rooms and its layout includes many of the features of the new private rooms being constructed as part of the patient tower project.


“The unit includes the new medication cabinets and infection control closets that will be included in our new patient tower when it is built,” said Gael Gilbert, RN, director of director, maternal child, behavioral health-inpatient and oncology services. “In addition, the technology the clinical staff is using is brand new. We’re adding the equipment to many of our new areas as they are renovated or built.”


An example of the new technology is the motion tablet the nurses are using to record information about the patients. Similar to an iPad, the tablets are easier to transport from room to room and smaller in size than the laptops formerly used. The unit also is using a new communication system in lieu of call bells, and the Welch Allyn Spot Vital Signs® LXi monitors, which allow clinical staff to take patient vital signs and have them automatically recorded in the medical record.


A family waiting room and welcoming reception space are also included in the new unit, where cancer patients often face chemotherapy and other advanced forms of care.


St. Joseph’s cares for more than 1,000 oncology patients each year, including breast cancer patients and those with other forms of the disease. These patients used to recover on a different unit in the hospital that was not fully dedicated to cancer care.


St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center is a non-profit, 431-bed hospital and health care system providing services to patients from Onondaga and 15 surrounding counties. Through prevention programs and the latest diagnostic treatment procedures, St. Joseph's works with patients to achieve optimum long-term health. A 14-time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice award, St. Joseph’s is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis.