The New James Opens as a Model for 21st Century Cancer Hospitals

Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) dedicated its new 1.1-million-square-foot, 21-level, 306-bed, freestanding cancer hospital on Nov. 7 and opened the transformational facility on Dec. 15.

The new James is the third-largest cancer hospital in the nation and one of the most innovative in the world, serving as a model for all 21st century hospitals devoted to cancer care. The opening followed nearly a decade of planning, designing and constructing that culminated in the move of 182 acute-care patients from the original James into the new hospital on Dec. 14.

“We thought about this hospital carefully and built a facility that supports the future of cancer care for our patients by integrating diagnosis, treatment, research and education,” says OSUCCC Director and James CEO Michael A. Caligiuri, MD.

Caligiuri says the new James, which was designed with input from doctors, nurses, researchers, patients and families, brings researchers and clinicians into closer working proximity than ever before so they can more quickly translate groundbreaking discoveries into cancer care and boost the OSUCCC – James vision of creating a cancer-free world.

“We are standing on a precipice from where we can envision the future of health care—a future that we have helped build,” Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake, MD, said at the dedication ceremony. “This hospital is a declaration of our commitment to health care and a monument of hope to all who will pass through these doors.”

The new James brings clinical care, research and education together in a highly subspecialized care model called precision cancer medicine. Each inpatient unit has its own cancer focus—gastrointestinal, head and neck, breast, genitourinary, hematologic malignancies, etc. The oncologists, nurses, pharmacists and genomic experts on each unit treat just that type of cancer, collaborating with researchers to examine every patient’s genes and tumor DNA to determine the best treatment and accelerate research discoveries. The new James also contains:

  • one of only a few cancer emergency departments in the country. The unit is integrated with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s main emergency department and includes 15 cancer-treatment stations staffed by doctors and nurses specially trained in oncology and emergency medicine;
  • 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;
  • an above-ground radiation oncology center with seven treatment vaults located on the hospital’s second floor;
  • natural light as a design feature throughout the hospital. Patients, visitors and staff can enjoy outdoor cafes 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;
  • intraoperative radiation therapy and MRI technologies that offer surgeons more precise diagnostics and treatment options;
  • translational research labs on each inpatient floor that bring physicians and researchers together to develop and deliver targeted treatments;
  • a cancer clinical trials unit experienced in conducting safe earlyphase trials for qualifying patients;
  • a 36-bed Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit supported by a cellular-processing lab;
  • private patient rooms containing: identical layouts to enhance safety; sophisticated technology for patient care and entertainment; ample space for families and visitors; personalized nutrition through dining-on-demand services; and large windows that offer expansive views. Each floor also contains visitor lounges, consultation rooms, Wi-Fi capabilities and respite areas.

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