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Massey celebrates groundbreaking of new pavilion for outpatient cancer care

Designed to enhance the patient experience, the facility will consolidate the majority of outpatient oncology services on the downtown medical campus.

VCU Health and Massey Cancer Center leaders break ground on a new outpatient facility.

VCU Massey Cancer Center on June 22nd celebrated the groundbreaking of a new outpatient oncology pavilion on VCU Health’s downtown medical campus. The oncology pavilion is part of a VCU Health outpatient facility that is the largest capital construction project in the health system’s history with a budgeted cost of $349.2 million.

The state-of-the-art facility features 16 stories and 603,000 square feet with two entrances: one side for Massey’s outpatient cancer care and the other side housing a variety of outpatient clinics such as orthopedics, pulmonology and urology currently at the Ambulatory Care Center, North Hospital and Nelson Clinic. Other services that will be provided on-site include laboratory, medical imaging and rehabilitation, including physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Located at the corner of North 10th and East Leigh streets on the grounds of the former Virginia Treatment Center for Children facility, the building is strategically located on the perimeter of the MCV Campus to make access to it easier. It will also include a 472,000-square-foot parking deck that increases the patient and visitor parking options on the downtown medical campus by adding more than 1,000 parking spaces at the point of service. The projected completion date is in summer 2020.

Architectural rendering of the south-southwest view from Leigh Street of the exterior of the new VCU Health outpatient facility.

“Because of the advances that NCI-designated cancer centers like Massey have made in cancer treatment, oncology care is increasingly provided in the outpatient setting,” said Gordon Ginder, M.D., director of VCU Massey Cancer Center. “This oncology pavilion represents our vision for and commitment to the best in outpatient cancer care.”

The oncology pavilion will be the new hub for the majority of Massey’s cancer services downtown. It will feature medical, surgical and radiation oncology clinics with shared spaces to support Massey’s multidisciplinary, collaborative teams in delivering well-coordinated, seamless care. It will also include an infusion treatment floor with double the number of infusion chairs currently in Massey’s Dalton Oncology Clinic.

Additionally, the radiation oncology clinic will be above ground and will feature three leading-edge linear accelerators (treatment machines), including a machine with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) integrated as part of the unit. This will be the first MRI linear accelerator in the Mid-Atlantic region. The blending of MRI technology into a linear accelerator allows real-time treatment tailoring to ensure direct targeting of the disease site, thereby protecting surrounding organs and tissue from radiation in a very precise manner. A brachytherapy suite with enhanced image guidance equipment, including ultrasound, CT (computed tomography) and MRI capabilities, will serve as a preeminent radiation oncology procedure space. The program will also feature both PET-CT (positron emission tomography-CT) and MRI simulators to further enhance treatment efficacy and provide important research opportunities to improve treatment outcomes.

“These new capabilities will allow us to further personalize radiation treatment for each cancer patient, thus minimizing toxicities and improving outcomes. Additionally, we anticipate that the enhanced precision of real-time imaging will advance clinical care and research that is just now being explored,” said Douglas Arthur, M.D., chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and associate director for clinical affairs at Massey. “Our radiation facilities and technologies will be on par with the very best in the country.”

Furthermore, the oncology pavilion will have its own dedicated entrance, lobby, elevators and valet and self-parking areas for cancer patients. Design plans follow a holistic patient/family-centered care model aimed at addressing the psychological, emotional and social needs of cancer patients and their families. The oncology pavilion will feature a range of thoughtful amenities and support services, including a café, retail pharmacy, wig salon, medical legal partnership office providing free legal counseling, patient resource library, areas where patients can meet for support groups and wellness workshops, and an integrative health suite offering complementary therapies.

With ongoing input from patient and family advisory committees, the facilities are intended to create a connected patient experience and single point of care where all of the various cancer services such as consultations, exams, lab work, treatments, imaging procedures, nutrition counseling, social work, rehabilitation, genetic counseling and pharmacy pick-ups are available under one roof. Additionally, the spaces are designed with a functional, efficient layout to improve patient flow, reduce wait times and simplify wayfinding. Other design considerations include use of natural light, soothing elements and accents that evoke warmth and hospitality.

“With greater convenience, comforts and aesthetics, we will be able to give patients the welcoming and healing environment they deserve,” said nursing director for ambulatory oncology Theresa Melville, MS, RN, OCN. “This new facility will improve access to our comprehensive cancer care and allow us to provide the best possible experience for our patients.”

In addition to the top-caliber clinical care, the building will feature innovative technology and collaborative spaces for research and teaching. A hallmark of Massey Cancer Center, innovative clinical trials will continue to be offered, giving patients hope and expanded treatment options, including novel therapies.  

Added Dr. Ginder: “We are excited to build world-class facilities that match the world-class care that our clinical teams provide to our patients every day, and where our researchers will see their discoveries save and enhance lives. This new space truly supports Massey’s mission of a future without cancer.”

Written by: Jenny Owen

Posted on: June 22, 2018