Online Focus: Cancer Care

Strategies to deliver cancer care are focused on providing more comprehensive services under one roof, inspiring new layouts and approaches to treatment spaces to streamline diagnosis and treatment services. There’s also increased attention being paid to materials selection, biophilic strategies, and access to the outdoors to further support patients as well as the staff members and family members supporting the patient in their care journey. Below, find recent coverage of cancer center projects and planning and design strategies. For more, explore under the Cancer Care Projects section of the website.

Better Use: The David H. Koch Center For Cancer Care At Memorial Sloan Kettering

The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan has innovated the patient, caregiver, and staff experience via design.

Improving The Cancer Care Journey

Understanding a patient’s experience of care is the first step in designing a better … Read the rest

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PHOTO TOUR: Baptist Health South Florida Plantation

Baptist Health South Florida (Coral Gables, Fla.) has expanded its footprint in the tri-county area with the opening of an outpatient facility in Plantation, Fla., this past January. The 112,000-square-foot medical office building includes an ambulatory surgical center with five operating rooms and outpatient services, such as urgent care, diagnostic imaging, radiation oncology, physical therapy, medical oncology, and primary care. The building also comprises designated suites for services from the health system’s four centers of excellence, including cancer, orthopedic, cardiology, and spine care.

Designed by Gresham Smith (Nashville, Tenn.), the four-story facility has a clean and modern design that’s consistent with other recently completed Baptist Health South Florida facilities. Located on a scenic lake development, the interior features large windows that allow patients to enjoy views of the outdoors while receiving care. A neutral, warm palette is accentuated with pops of blues and greens, with each floor having a specific … Read the rest

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Onward Expansion: Ochsner Medical Complex – The Grove

Founded in 1942 as the first multispecialty physician practice in New Orleans, Ochsner Health has evolved into Louisiana’s largest nonprofit academic healthcare system with  40 owned, managed, or affiliated hospitals and specialty hospitals, along with more than 100 health and urgent care centers. During the past three decades, much of that expansion has been taking place in Baton Rouge, which sits about 80 miles northwest of its hometown, including a 150-bed hospital on the city’s east side and about 15 smaller clinics throughout its metropolitan area.

In mid-2019, the system opened the largest single investment in its history—the Ochsner Medical Complex – The Grove, a $116 million microhospital with surgical center and medical office building all under one roof on the city’s west side.

Traffic snarls in Baton Rouge were a major factor in the expansion, as crosstown commutes are difficult there. “Baton Rouge has some of the worst traffic … Read the rest

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Designing For Medical And Behavioral Health Comorbidity

In the United States, an estimated 68 percent of adults with a mental health affliction have at least one concurrent medical condition and 29 percent of people with medical conditions have a behavioral mental health disorder, according to a 2011 health policy brief by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. With the general population’s access to services often limited by availability, financial constraint, or stigma, these totals may be understated.

This medical and behavioral health comorbidity, which is the simultaneous presence of two or more diseases that encompass both mental health and medical conditions, can be due to causality, environmental risks factors, or even to chance. A 2008 report in the American Journal of Medicine by Dr. Wayne Katon addressed comorbidity of type 2 diabetes and depression, indicating that each condition can influence the other.

For example, depression has a direct negative effect on glucose metabolism and may increase insulin resistance … Read the rest

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Face Time: Nicholas Watkins

Healthcare research was front and center throughout Nicholas Watkins’ undergraduate and PhD studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but it was during his Psychology 101 class that he was first exposed to environmental psychology and Roger Ulrich’s pioneering study on how the built environment could influence healthcare outcomes. Watkins says the realization of how the field could advance fundamental physical and psychological needs gave architecture “a higher purpose.” After graduation, he continued to sharpen his skills at several firms, including Cannon Design and HOK, before joining Gensler in 2017. These days, he’s also “testing” new running strategies when taking a break from professional research.

What drew you to a career in research?

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a large pool to wade around in and cobble together a lifelong passion before you even realize that’s what’s happening. Several faculty members from the anthropology, architecture, educational psychology, … Read the rest

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Dignified Design

Inside the new Omaha VA Ambulatory Care Center (Omaha, Neb.), colored light streams down a long corridor connecting the new facility to the existing Omaha VA Medical Center. Running the length of the 157,000-square-foot addition’s western façade, the corridor’s long curtain wall of colored glass symbolizes the “honor bars” earned by veterans and placed on their lapels. “Everyone, whether you’re a patient, a visitor, or even a provider, is reminded daily of the veteran and the honor and respect that they’re due,” says Jonathan Fliege, senior associate and director of design at Leo A Daly (Omaha), which provided architectural, engineering, and interior design services for the project. “You ‘breathe’ the color almost as you pass through this space.”

The project not only represents a new outpatient facility for the VA but also marks the first public-private partnership-funded VA healthcare facility in the nation to be delivered since Congress passed the … Read the rest

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Using Telemedicine To Increase Access to Healthcare

With the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, many people were unable to leave their homes or feared going to see a doctor in person due to the potential risk of exposure. One solution that allowed patients and healthcare providers to connect was telehealth (generally defined in broad terms to encompass technology and health-related services provided via telecommunications and digital communication). Wider adoption of this practice was coupled with changes in reimbursement models as part of the 2020 U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which included emergency polices that improved provider payments for telehealth and allowed for providers to deliver care across state lines.

As a result, telehealth grew significantly last year. In the analysis, “Medicare Beneficiary Use of Telehealth Visits: Early Data From the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that in April 2020 nearly half (43.5 percent) … Read the rest

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PHOTO TOUR: Providence Newberg Medical Plaza

In 2006, after Providence Health & Services (Newberg, Ore.) opened Providence Newberg Medical Center in Newberg, patient volume surged, creating the need to provide additional on-campus outpatient services. As a result, the three-story, 64,000-square-foot Providence Newberg Medical Plaza was opened in January 2020.

Led by architecture firm JRJ Architects (Portland, Ore.), the project team had two key design objectives. First, leadership wished to retain but update the health system’s “brick brand identifier,” which was achieved by incorporating metal curtain walls and generous windows for a fresher, more modern aesthetic. To architecturally connect the new facility to the existing hospital and any future buildings, the team also incorporated the brick branding to the back side of the structure. Second, the team worked to preserve the sweeping views of the Willamette Valley that hospital patients and staff enjoy. Additionally, a generous use of wood, glass, and steel design features helped bring natural … Read the rest

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FIRST LOOK: Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic

To meet the growing needs of the more than 23,000 veterans living in the Lakeland, Fla., area, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is consolidating multiple local facilities into one expanded outpatient clinic. At 132,000 square feet—five times bigger than the existing clinic spaces together—the facility will be better suited to meet patients’ needs, now and into the future.

The Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic will be centrally located within the Lakeland community and just 4.5 miles from Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Patient parking at the front of the site, along with a covered drop-off area on the front of the building, will enable easy access for visitors, while dedicated staff parking and entry on the rear of the building will increase efficiencies.

Outdoor seating areas will offer veterans and visitors a space to enjoy the fresh air and Florida sunshine. The site will include an exterior canteen area and … Read the rest

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Living Color

Main Line Health (MLH), a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs, was looking to expand beyond its traditional patient base, says JoAnn Magnatta, senior vice president of planning and design at MLH (Philadelphia). The opportunity to do so took shape when MLH evaluated its women’s offerings, which included comprehensive services but not much convenience. “We looked at our women’s service lines scattered throughout the system and realized it would be a positive move for us and for our patients to have those services aggregated in one location,” she says.

Through a joint venture with physician group Axia Women’s Health, MLH wanted to provide a holistic solution, serving women’s physical, mental, and emotional health and emphasizing wellness and prevention, with a variety of specialty services including breast health, digestive health, heart and vascular care, integrative medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pelvic floor care, rheumatology and autoimmune treatment, … Read the rest

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