MU Women's and Children's Hospital closes children's oncology clinic
COLUMBIA - The oncology clinic at the MU Women and Children's Hospital will be closing on July 31. Families of the clinic were told by staff at their recent appointments, and MU Health Care says the closure is following a physician's departure.
The hospital is currently the only place in mid-Missouri for pediatric cancer patients to receive care. Families will now be forced to make the decision to have their child seen at hospitals located in either Kansas City or St. Louis.
The O’Neill family, who have a four-year-old daughter, Clarke, that has been diagnosed with cancer have been burdened with the news of the closure.
"There are people already dealing with a really horrible thing, and all the stress and everything that comes with it and to be completely blindsided by this is almost unbearable," Brian O'Neill said.
The O'Neill's are looking at their current options for the future of their daughter's treatment. They are even considering selling their house in Columbia and uprooting to Kansas City.
Like many families who are seen in the oncology clinic at the hospital, they are disappointed to be leaving the doctors and nurses who they've built a relationship with.
MU stated in an email that they "have begun recruitment for a new pediatric oncologist, but it could be some time before the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding process is complete".