In the fall of 1989, after 18 months of planning and fundraising, the Northern Illinois Treatment Center (NICTC) opened its doors.
The center is located on Illinois Route 2 (just east of the Sinnissippi Mental Health Center, which donated half of the land). NICTC was a joint venture between KSB Hospital of Dixon, Illinois and CGH Medical Center of Sterling, Illinois.
When plans for the center were announced in February of 1988, funding came from the initial pledges of each hospital. More than one million dollars was raised through donations from individuals, clubs and organizations in the surrounding area.
The biggest benefit of the center has been that patients who are diagnosed with cancer and are prescribed radiation treatment do not have to travel to Rockford or the Quad Cities for their treatment. (Both locations are typically over an hour away.) This close location has helped reduce patient stress that surfaces as a result of frequent travel.
In 1989, treatment was carried out with the use of a six-megavolt linear accelerator and treatment planning computer. The accelerator allowed a greater range of treatment; the oncologist had more flexibility in treating various types of cancer; and in many cases, the typical sunburn effect of cobalt treatments was avoided.
Other forms of treatment for cancer at the time were chemotherapy and surgery, offered at both hospitals. The opening of the center offered area cancer patients the opportunity to receive their treatment close to home, and has continued to provide quality care for 'more than two decades.