If These Walls Could Talk: The McCoy Suite

One of the most dynamic spaces in the first Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute—the room that has welcomed donors and friends of The James with amazing hospitality—almost was not built.

It wasn’t until the late John G. McCoy, philanthropist and chief executive of Bank One, saw that the plans for The James lacked a much-needed hospitality suite. With generous support from McCoy, the John G. and Jeanne B. McCoy Benefactor Suite opened with the hospital in 1990 and has served many critical functions.

Whether hosting dinners for friends interested in learning more about the OSUCCC – James, helping to recruit top talent to join Ohio State’s lauded cancer program or serving as a comfortable gathering place for families who wait for their loved ones during surgery, the McCoy Suite’s deep green walls would surely have quite a few stories to tell if they could talk.

Chef Renee Bean has been with The James and the McCoy Suite since the beginning, cooking her signature healthy, delicious foods that impress families and complement the experience of excellence at The James. Says Bean, “This hospital is really special and provides world-class care. I want this dining room to reflect the same level of world-class service. You’re not just having lunch; you’re having an experience. And I’m going to give you the best experience possible.”

Bean, whose specialties are soups and desserts, knows firsthand what it’s like to be a patient at The James; in 2003 she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on the base of her tongue—an illness that threatened to extinguish her taste buds and career as a chef. Her head and neck surgeon, David Schuller, MD, took a conservative approach to tumor removal and treatment that left Bean with her tongue, as well as taste buds that still operate, albeit somewhat differently.

“Working here every day, I thought I knew what having cancer looked like, but I realized I had no idea once I was on the other side. I went through surgery, chemo and radiation, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it gives me a new appreciation for people who have to go through it. It amazes me the compassion people have around here,” says Bean.

Now, Bean will move into a new kitchen and executive dining suite in the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, thanks to a gift from Michael Bloch. The new Michael D. Bloch Suite will provide beautiful public spaces for families and patients, as well as private spaces for meetings. While Bean and others will deliver the same high-level of service, guests will experience an enhanced view from the new space, located on the 14th floor facing north toward Ohio Stadium.

Says longtime OSUCCC – James supporter Michael Bloch, “It is an honor to help continue the legacy of hospitality that started with the McCoy Suite. I have toured the space during its construction and cannot wait to see it full of people united in their support for The James.”

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