Board approves Cancer Institute funding

Hershey, Pa. -- The Board of Trustees on Friday (March 20) approved a $153 million project cost to complete the construction of the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute at The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. The authorization will enable a mid-July completion of the facility.
   
When the building opens, the new Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute will serve as a vital component of a statewide network of hospitals dedicated to providing the latest therapies and advanced care to cancer patients. The new facility will bring together leading-edge cancer treatment with ongoing cancer research in one complex and help position the facility to earn a National Cancer Institute designation — the hallmark accreditation for academic cancer centers.
   
"That designation is important because it will enable the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute to receive substantial financial support from National Cancer Institute grants as we strive to find more effective approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and therapy," said Thomas Loughran, director of the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute and professor of medicine. "The facility will help us to address the growing needs of those in central Pennsylvania and beyond. Having an institute of this caliber at Penn State Hershey will give Pennsylvanians access to cutting-edge cancer treatment closer to home."
   
"This has been a very challenging project," said Albert G. Horvath, vice president for finance and business. "Because it's being built next to an existing hospital, and in fact connects to that hospital, special precautions had to be taken to ensure that there were no issues that would cause power outages or compromise the continuing operation of the existing facility."

With 175,000 square feet, the building will consist of three floors of patient care and two floors of research, lab and office space. The new building will include outpatient clinics with exam rooms, infusion stations and private treatment rooms; a day hospital where patients will receive chemotherapy treatments; a healing garden to offer a quiet retreat for infusion therapy patients; a radiology suite; and research labs connected to the main hospital and Penn State College of Medicine to encourage collaboration between patient treatment and cancer research.
   
The project also includes a new, two-story main hospital entrance and lobby, which will include reception and waiting areas, in-patient admissions and a cafe seating area opening to the hospital courtyard. An enclosed connector will link the spaces to the main hospital and the Cancer Institute lobby. The second floor of the main lobby will include conference rooms and a lounge for cancer patients and their families.
   
Portions of the project already are completed. Phase 1 of the Medical Center’s redesigned Emergency Department, built using a novel, patient-friendly model of emergency care that will reduce wait times and improve the delivery of emergency service, opened on Monday, March 2. The model includes a no-waiting arrival area, where Emergency Department physicians and nurses triage patients to treatment areas according to the severity of illness or injury regardless of whether they arrive via ambulance or private vehicle. This innovative patient queuing and flow process will optimize resources, enhance staff ability to care for patients, and improve patient access and quality of care.

In addition, a new heliport has been put into service near the emergency room. The heliport is used by Life Lion Critical Care Transport, which has received The Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) accreditation. Penn State Hershey is one of only a handful of medical facilities in the country whose critical-care transport service uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) approach and an on-site Automated Weather Observation System for increased safety.

The new facility, which is being constructed from predominately local products, was nominated as a Building of America project. With this nomination, the Cancer Institute will be showcased in the Real Estate & Construction Review-2009 New York Tri-State and Philadelphia & The Delaware Valley Edition.

This preview will highlight the vast collaboration with developers, consultants, architects and contractors to create the new Cancer Institute building.

Contacts: 
Last Updated March 26, 2009