COLUMBUS, Ohio — When The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute was dedicated on Nov. 9, the new 1.1-million-square-foot, 21-floor freestanding cancer hospital in Columbus, Ohio, became the third-largest cancer hospital in the country, and the most innovative cancer hospital to date.
“We thought about this carefully and built a facility that supports the future of cancer care for our patients by integrating diagnosis, treatment, research and education,” said Dr. Michael Caligiuri, director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.
The building brings clinical care, research and education together in a highly subspecialized care model. Each inpatient unit has its own cancer focus, such as gastrointestinal, head and neck, leukemia, etc. The oncologists, nurses, pharmacists and genomic experts in each unit will treat just that type of cancer with a genomic-driven approach. They will collaborate with researchers to look at the patient’s genes and the tumor DNA to determine the best treatment and help speed research discoveries – an approach called precision cancer medicine.
The new OSUCCC-James has the nation’s first cancer emergency department integrated with a hospital’s main emergency department. This unit includes 15 cancer treatment stations staffed by a team of doctors and nurses specially trained in oncology and emergency medicine.
The James also includes one of the largest cancer surgical facilities in the United States, with 14 operating rooms, including six interventional operating suites and two suites connected to a 3-Tesla MRI, allowing patients to be imaged during surgery.
Its radiation oncology center is state-of-the-art, with seven treatment vaults located on the hospital’s second floor. While most radiation centers are underground to help with radiation protection, The James is one of two centers in the country to construct its radiation center on the second floor, providing patients and families sunlight and a view overlooking the park outside.
“It’s very unusual, but we felt it was necessary for our patients and staff. Natural light has been shown to reduce stress and improve the immune system, thus improving healing and outcomes. We’re very excited about this elevated radiation oncology center,” Caligiuri said.
Natural light is a key design feature throughout the hospital. Patients, visitors and staff will enjoy an outdoor café and terrace gardens on the 14th floor, where plantings will include vegetables that researchers at the OSUCCC-James have demonstrated to have cancer preventive properties.
“This type of integration – bringing visitors, patients, researchers, clinicians and students all together – is really inspiring and where all hospitals want to be. It’s about taking the work from the laboratory bench to the patient, and back again to the researchers,” said Caligiuri.
The project was designed by HOK and Moody-Nolan. Construction managers were Turner Construction Company and Lend Lease Group.