Cleveland Clinic begins construction of new cancer institute

Maria Fazal, Staff Reporter

The Cleveland Clinic is building a new $276 million cancer facility, which will feature state of the art equipment and technology for treating and researching cancer.

The Cleveland Clinic is ranked as the best hospital in Ohio and one of the top hospitals in the United States. It is regarded as being one of the best at fourteen specialties, including cardiology and cardiac surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, urology and oncology (cancer).

Undeniably, the major portion of this prowess is due to the hospital’s outstanding staff. However, the Cleveland Clinic’s impressive technological proficiency cannot be overlooked. In fact, Newsweek went as far as to refer to the Cleveland Clinic as “a hospital trying to be a Toyota factory.”

Never one to fall behind technologically or in any respect, the Clinic’s new building will put them on the forefront of cancer treatment, while also helping them to be one of a dozen or so hospitals in the United States that can provide detailed data on cancer patient outcomes.

“Cancer patients are uniformly scared,” Dr. Brian J. Bolwell, the Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute Chairman, said. “We have to provide many different ways to help patients and their families deal with medical aspect of their disease but also the psychological aspect. Having a central location to do both—provide multidisciplinary care and support services—is very, very important.”

This concern with the patients’ well being carried through into the building’s design. The window-clad building will be illuminated with plenty of natural light to provide a serene ambiance.

Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove assures the building “will be a place of light, confidence and hope,” and that it “will be the ideal outpatient cancer treatment facility for our time.”

The massive 377,000-square-foot facility will be seven stories tall and contain 126 exam rooms, 98 semi-private chemo infusion rooms, a spiritual support center and expanded patient services, including social workers, wig boutiques, art therapy, massages, make-up application, manicures and pedicures and prosthetic services.

Additionally, the building will also house academics, research and Phase I clinical trials to further cancer treatment methods and study. Furthermore, one of the most important goals for the new building is to emphasize multidisciplinary care.

The institute was designed by Boston architecture firm William Rawn Associates, an award-winning firm whose previous works have included prominent buildings such as the Cambridge Public Library and the Seiji Ozawa Hall.

The building’s funding comes from a $2 billion fundraising campaign from earlier this summer. Remarkably, the campaign has already raised $600 million and is expected to finish in 2021, four years after the projected date of completion for the new cancer institute.

Last week, on Sept. 29, dignitaries including Bolwell, Cosgrove, Mayor Frank Jackson and U.S. Senator Rob Portman armed themselves with shovels to ceremoniously break ground for the new Cancer Institute.

Hopes were high that day and not just for the building. In fact, Portman joked that he wishes for the building to be pulled down in 20 years when cancer is eradicated.

Bolwell agreed. “We have to cure the darn thing,” he said.

Bolwell has great expectations for the new cancer institute and believes it will create “a seamless, personalized experience for patients from throughout the region, nation and world who turn to Cleveland Clinic in their time of need.”