Celebrated, Opened and Creating a Cancer-Free World

Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) dedicated its new 1.1-million-square foot, 21-floor, 306-bed, freestanding cancer hospital on Nov. 7, 2014, and officially opened the transformational facility on Dec. 15.

The Nov. 7 dedication ceremony, a regal event open by invitation only and web-streamed throughout the Ohio State campus, was attended by bipartisan elected officials, university officials and board members, James operating and foundation board members, OSU Wexner Medical Center and OSUCCC – James officials, distinguished community members and many others. A number of guests participated in a mass ribbon-cutting that brought overarching scarlet and gray streamers down upon the audience within a huge tent that had been placed outside the hospital’s main entrance for this occasion.

The dedication ceremony was sandwiched among several open-house ceremonies held from Sept. 28- Nov. 9 that offered respective tours of the hospital to: construction workers and their families; Wexner Medical Center and OSUCCC – James faculty, staff and students; community physicians; and the community at large. The community open house on Nov. 9 attracted approximately 9,000 people who came to tour the premises and see what the new hospital entails.

“It’s difficult for me to tell you how I’m feeling right now on this sunny day over the enormity of what we have accomplished together,” OSUCCC Director and James CEO Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, told the audience at the dedication ceremony.

Caligiuri also expressed gratitude to “all of those pioneers who were instrumental in bringing this new hospital about,” including the James, Wexner, Wolfe and Solove families, and David Schuller, MD, vice president of Wexner Medical Center expansion and outreach.

Then, addressing the more than 500 volunteers who assembled on Dec. 14 to help move patients into the new James, Caligiuri couldn’t conceal his excitement. “All of us have worked so hard to get to where we are today,” he said. “Today is all about our patients. As you assist with this move, think of wheeling them not just into a new hospital but across the threshold to a cancer-free world. As you help today, be inspired, be grateful, be hopeful, and share those feelings with our patients.”

Faculty, staff, family members and friends of The James then performed the move that would take just over nine hours to complete, finishing ahead of schedule and without incident.

Caligiuri later reported that the hospital’s 182 acute-care inpatients were moved safely and smoothly into the new hospital thanks to a superbly orchestrated plan devised and led by “an amazing faculty and staff operational team” that coordinated the event from two command centers, one in the original James and one in the new. He also noted that 39 critical-care patients were moved into the new James on Friday, Dec. 12, bringing the total number of patients moved during the historic weekend to 221.

“Most importantly,” he added, “I believe our patients are amazed and touched by what the new James offers them both in new technology and in our focus on improving their personal care experience. Our faculty, staff and volunteers continue to help our patients and their loved ones adjust to the new surroundings.”

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