State board’s OK propels hospital plans for cancer center

A state oversight board has approved a Dubuque hospital’s request to buy $5.2 million worth of equipment for a new cancer center.

The State Health Facilities Council voted 3-1 at its meeting Wednesday for the proposal from Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque. Mercy plans to start building its $25 million treatment center this year and open it in 2020.

In October the council rejected Mercy’s request. UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital argued at the time that its Wendt Cancer Center already provides the necessary services in Dubuque. The council is charged with preventing unnecessary duplication of medical services.

Ted Townsend is interim president and CEO of UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital, and he told the Telegraph Herald after Wednesday’s meeting in Ankeny that his organization is disappointed by the new decision. He says he expects Finley officials will appeal.