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25 August 2015

Grant Spurs Innovations at The Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

OSU Wexner Medical Center James Cancer Center and Solove Research Institute Exterior

Located on the campus of The Ohio State University, the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute expands access to world-class cancer care in central Ohio.

“Four years into planning the $750 million James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute—one of the largest cancer hospitals in the nation—The Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center, received news that it had won a $100 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.”

OSU Wesner Medical Center Expansion“At the time, schematic design and design development were already completed and construction had started on the 1 million-square-foot replacement facility.”

“The infusion of grant money in December 2010 sent the project team, including The Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center, HOK, Moody Nolan, and Turner Construction, back to the drawing board. ‘There was no doubt about [the money] going toward adding radiation oncology into the building,’ said Henry Chao, principal and Healthcare design principal at HOK.”

“In consideration of the patient experience, the project team made a drastic decision to add another floor to the building and relocate radiation oncology from its basement in the existing building to the second floor of the new James.”

“‘We wanted to humanize the care environment and create a positive experience for patients,’ said Paul Strohm, principal-in-charge and director of HOK’s global Healthcare practice. ‘While the treatment impacts your body, appropriately killing the cancer cells or putting it into remission, it can also be a place that can be pleasant, cheerful, supportive, light-filled, calming, reassuring.’”

OSU Wexner“The floors integrate clinical, academic, and research areas to help accelerate new diagnostic tools and treatments. Mark Banholzer, vice president and senior project designer for HOK, said that while it’s not an unusual set-up for an academic medical center, OSU takes that design a step further by locating its glass-enclosed research areas in the public realm rather than behind the scenes. ‘Part of the notion is that they’re giving hope to patients and families by seeing that real-time research is happening,’ he said.”

“As the James project continued to morph and grow, the design team was tasked to remain focused on proving an intimate experience within such a large facility. A variety of textures, patterns, and wood materials are used in strategic areas as wayfinding elements. Attention was also paid to ensure hallways, corridors, and staff and patient rooms had access to natural light and those impressive views.”

Healthcare Design

In a related article, Banholzer described how kid-friendly technology provides a “sense of care and comfort from the front door all the way to their destination.” Chao and Strohm detailed the four-year planning and design process in a third Healthcare Design article.