The James: Closing the Doors to an Era While Entering a New Frontier

It’s hard to imagine now that 24 years ago when the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital opened its doors, it became the Midwest’s first and only freestanding hospital dedicated to serving patients with cancer.

The James welcomed its initial 17 patients on July 9, 1990, and quickly became a critical component of the healthcare landscape–offering cutting-edge treatments and research that has saved lives for patients at The James and elsewhere as new discoveries have led to advances in care for patients worldwide.

The opening of The James also marked the end of a half-century of effort by Dr. James, the hospital’s namesake, who worked tirelessly to see his vision of building the top cancer hospital in the Midwest become a reality. After completing his fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where he witnessed the extraordinary care possible at a dedicated facility, Dr. James knew that central Ohio needed a state-of-the-art hospital focused solely on cancer care.

Despite encountering many obstacles over the years in his quest to secure the new building, Dr. James’ gentle persistence prevailed. His refusal to give up gave central Ohio an institution that brings hope to all by offering the finest in cancer care, research and education, while striving to eradicate cancer in its many forms.

The James name quickly became synonymous with exceptional care and innovation. While Ohio State’s cancer program had already built a strong reputation, having a physical home for the program took it to new heights — securing millions in research funding and helping to lure top talent in ultra-competitive fields.

The hospital received a huge boost in 1999 when community leader Richard J. Solove, a longtime friend of Dr. James and supporter of the cancer program, donated $20 million to The James’ Threshold of Discovery campaign for cancer genetics research. In recognition of that gift, the Board voted to change the name of the hospital to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James.)

When the doors close to the first James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Dr. James’s vision will continue to inspire and advance first-rate cancer care and research as the doors open to the new James. Dr. James’ legacy is alive and well, still setting the bar for excellence and driving Ohio State’s program to greatness.

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