State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) and Representative Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona) joined members of the SIH Cancer Institute Tuesday to announce two $150,000 member initiative grants from Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
“The SIH Cancer Institute is a critical resource to Southern Illinois and my hope is through these member initiative grants, this healthcare organization can utilize these specific dollars to further enhance their high quality access to patient care,” said Senator Fowler. “The revitalization of the café shows our state’s commitment to investing in local communities and SIH’s commitment to world class care close to home.”
The SIH Cancer Institute, which opened its doors in 2015, serves more than 300 cancer patients each weekday and up to 120 employees who rely on the café for meals and snacks.
State Representative Dr. Paul Jacobs says he is grateful for the advanced, holistic cancer treatment that SIH provides to its patients.
“Many people may not know just how vital a proper diet is to beating cancer, but SIH sure does,” Jacobs said. “Expanding dietary services, providing demonstrations, and educating both patients and their families on the many benefits of proper nutrition will have a long-lasting positive impact and help save the lives of cancer patients treated right here in Southern Illinois. These investments will help SIH to continue to be a world-class leader in the cancer-treatment field.”
Grant money will go towards expanding the current cafe area while modernizing the current space. Parts of the project scope include the expansion of the kitchen and prep space to allow for the oncology dietician to hold demonstrations on how to prepare high nutrient-value meals and snacks for patients and their caregivers.
“SIH is grateful for the support from Senator Fowler and Representative Jacobs. This grant funding will cover the majority of costs for the Green Leaf Café and kitchen upgrades, including additional refrigeration for fresh food options. The reconfigured space is beneficial in a number of ways, especially for teaching patients and caregivers how to make simple, healthy meals to improve nutrition and decrease cancer-related fatigue,” said SIH President and CEO John Antes.
Other parts of the project include the relocation and renovation of electoral wiring, plumbing and mechanical changes as well as new high-efficiency appliances.
SIH quickly recognized the need for specialty care in the Southern Illinois region. Since then, the healthcare organization has been looking at ways to serve the demand by recently completing a 20,000 square foot expansion project. In January, the Governor announced a $10 million grant to SIH to help cover costs from the newly completed construction.