LUDINGTON - The board of directors of Memorial Medical Center recently announced its decision to begin providing cancer and hematology services on Jan. 3, 2012, at a new outpatient center in its Medical Office Building adjacent to the hospital.

The new oncology service will be associated with Cancer and Hematology Centers of Western Michigan, P.C., a cancer and hematology group practice that operates Cancer and Hematology Centers at the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, the Lacks Cancer Center at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, the Johnson Family Center for Cancer Care at Mercy General Health Partners in Muskegon and regional clinics in Cadillac, Fremont, Hastings and Holland.

“At MMC, we are committed to searching for ways to meet the healthcare needs of the residents of our service area,” said Mark Vipperman, president and CEO of Memorial Medical Center.

“Although providing cancer and hematology services was not originally in our five year strategic plan, when we received notice from the West Michigan Regional Cancer and Blood Center that they were planning to discontinue operations, our board of directors voted unanimously for Memorial Medical Center to step in and provide these services in the best interests of the people living in the communities we serve.

“We worked quickly to be sure that continuity of care is provided for patients currently undergoing treatment.”

Carol Peterson, MD, and Sue Henry, MD, both formerly of the West Michigan Regional Cancer and Blood Center, in Free Soil, will be the local physician providers caring for patients at the new center. Both physicians bring a wealth of knowledge and credentials in oncology and hematology services as well as familiarity with local patients.

“I’m pleased to be able to continue serving patients locally who need cancer and hematology services,” said Peterson. “Dr. Henry and I are both excited about our new practice at Memorial Medical Center, and our association with Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan, P.C.

“Their knowledge in running cancer centers for some of the larger hospitals in Grand Rapids and Muskegon as well as at a number of smaller hospitals across the region is a definite advantage for our patients locally.”

Services available at Memorial Medical Center Cancer and Hematology will include chemotherapy (intravenous, oral and subcutaneous); information regarding clinical trials; cancer and blood disorders education; genetic testing and counseling and overall care and monitoring of patients’ treatment.

Other related services will continue to be offered through Memorial Medical Center, including infusion therapy, such as intravenous immunoglobulin, hydration, and iron dextran, as well as blood transfusions. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is made up of antibodies of healthy blood that is used to treat autoimmune disorders and help fight infection. Iron dextran is a form of iron that is used to treat iron deficiencies and anemia.

Blood transfusions are a very common form of treatment in which healthy blood with vital nutrients is injected into a patient’s bloodstream.

Hours of operation of the new Cancer and Hematology center will be Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The phone number of the new center is (231) 845-5085.