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Published on January 25, 2011

Mercy Unveils Cancer Center DesignCancer Center

Plans Offer Glimpse at Bold, New Vision for Cancer Care

Mercy Medical Center announced today the design plans for its new destination cancer center, which will house advanced and integrated cancer services in one central location, giving patients direct access to a treatment team dedicated to coordinated cancer care. The plan will result in the largest, comprehensive cancer healing environment in Cedar Rapids by connecting to existing radiation oncology services, private inpatient rooms and advanced surgical suites.   

"These plans illustrate the foundation for providing the most advanced cancer care today and for the next quarter of a century," stated Mercy President and CEO Tim Charles. "Mercy has long advocated for this center as it will provide access to related critical cancer services without additional costs or splitting of services and deliver advancements in cancer treatment not currently provided in Cedar Rapids."

Preliminary site work on the center is already underway. The design and construction team is comprised of local firms OPN Architects, Rinderknecht Construction and Ryan Companies. The construction of the center will create an average of 50 full-time positions consistently for the next 14 months. An official groundbreaking will take place this spring, with completion of the facility scheduled for spring 2012.

Mercy reached out to those battling cancer and their families for input as well as researched other leading cancer centers, and the result is a patient-centered building. Chemotherapy rooms will include infusion stations that utilize natural lighting features and offer views of natural green space. Public spaces include a cancer library, recovery center, family-respite room, healing gardens, and meditation space.

The design also includes dedicated space for multi-disciplinary clinics where, for example, nurse navigators will guide patients through the treatment process, and patients will be able to meet with different physicians, all in one place in one visit, reducing the amount of time between diagnosis and care. 

"Mercy has an uncompromising commitment to patient care as demonstrated in the design of our new center," stated Dr. Martin Wiesenfeld, oncologist and medical director of the new center. "Patients in our area deserve the most advanced cancer care in a single, supportive surrounding.  We’re pleased to be able to offer them an unmatched continuum of care in Cedar Rapids."

Since 60 percent of all cancer patients need radiation at some point in their treatment, the new facility will conveniently connect to Hall Radiation Center. Specifically, the building will be located on the north side of Mercy’s campus with multiple access points to the main hospital.

The center will be a three-level, 85,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art facility with a primarily glass exterior and convenient access to all surface parking. Mercy will register the center for a LEED certificate, which means an independent third-party verifies the center meets the highest green building and performance measures. Construction costs are estimated at $24.6 million, which reflects a forward-thinking approach to allow additional expansion space for program growth, multiple linkages to the main hospital and added cost for equipment, furniture and fixtures.

Future plans include convenient access to on-campus overnight housing for family members and caretakers to keep families together during the care process.

"This state-of-the art facility is the natural evolution of our cancer program here at Mercy," continued Charles. "The center will be a signature investment within the city’s emerging medical district and support local economic development by becoming a medical destination."

Mercy’s cancer program was the first in this area to be accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, in 1990.  It was most recently re-accredited with commendations in 2008.

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