Construction Will Begin This Fall To Renovate And Expand Existing Cancer Center

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor is pleased to announce plans for a new 66,000-square-foot Cancer Center designed to deliver comprehensive cancer care for patients. Groundbreaking is set for September with completion slated for November 2018.

“This new state-of-the-art facility will help cancer patients and their families by combining the very best in prevention, screening, research, treatment and support all in one location,” said Dave Brooks, president, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston hospitals. “This significant care delivery redesign will improve patient experience across all of our west market region of Canton, Brighton, Chelsea, and Ann Arbor.”

Since opening the Robert H. and Judy Dow Alexander Cancer Center in 1993– becoming the area’s first comprehensive cancer center– the number of new patients diagnosed and treated for cancer at the cancer center has tripled to more than 3,400 patients in 2016. This multi-million-dollar transformation will be vitally important in allowing St. Joe’s to deliver comprehensive cancer care to our patients using the latest medical technologies, research-driven treatments, and revolutionized clinical and support services.

“Over the last twenty-five years, we’ve gone from eight to 15 medical and radiation oncology specialists and from three to 28 research staff, as well as added surgical specialists for all tumor types,” explained Dr. Phil Stella, medical director, Oncology Services, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. “We’ve been recognized as one of the nation’s best National Cancer Institute-funded community research programs. We’ve added genetic counseling, Cancer Specialty Clinics and have one of the strongest nurse navigator programs. We’re the home of Michigan’s first CyberKnife® and a leading da Vinci® surgery program.”

Starting with a redesigned entrance that features a two-story glass atrium welcoming patients into a warm and healing environment, patient ambassadors will assist patients to central registration where comprehensive information for their entire day’s visit will be available. Patient ambassadors will be available throughout the cancer center to ensure patients connect to the various services needed during their visit and make their visit as stress-free as possible.

The main floor of the new Cancer Center will feature an expanded infusion suite with 22 private bays and a view of a serenity garden to promote the dignity and comfort of patients. In addition, nurse navigators, genetic counselors, dietitians, chaplains, social workers and an on-site pharmacy for chemotherapy services will be located on the main floor. Patients will be seen on the second floor where St. Joe’s oncologists, surgeons and clinical staff will work together to care for patients. The new lower level will become a dedicated space for St. Joe’s nationally renowned National Cancer Institute Oncology Research Program (NCORP), clinical research staff and the Cancer Care Delivery program to serve a growing number of patients with the latest research trials close to home.

In addition, conference rooms with videoconferencing capabilities will be created. Planning a seamless patient experience was a priority throughout the design of the building from registration to radiation therapy, chemotherapy, lab and pharmacy services. “We are grateful to our cancer patient advisory board who helped us to design this beautiful new facility with the patient experience as the highest priority,” said Dr. Katie Beekman, medical director, Outpatient Infusion, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.

Key facts:

— The new Cancer Center will have almost 25,000 additional square feet of space above its current 41,000 square feet including a “bumping out” of the existing front walls
— The lower level will be a dedicated conference center and research suite
— Private infusion bays
— Double the number of current exam rooms to 40
— Dedicated patient reflection space
— Dedicated pharmacy adjacent to the Infusion Center
— The front lobby will include a Joe’s Java coffee shop

In addition to $24 million in Trinity Health capital funds, St. Joe’s Ann Arbor Development team, joined by community members and physicians, is conducting a $10 million campaign to support capital, operations and endowment needs for the Cancer Center. The hospital will be working with architectural firm Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED) and Granger Construction on this renovation and expansion. Patient care will continue on St. Joe’s Ann Arbor campus during construction. Infusion, exam rooms, staff offices and research will relocate in September to the Michigan Orthopedic Center at 5315 Elliott Drive and Reichert Health Building at 5333 McAuley Drive. Radiation Oncology will remain in its current location in the existing Cancer Center during construction.

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