The new Winship Cancer Institute at Emory Midtown opens to patients May 9 and its innovative design will enable them to receive nearly every aspect of their cancer care in one building.
Surgery, radiation therapies, inpatients facilities, outpatient facilities, radiology services, biopsy, endoscopies survivorship, palliative care — all will be provided in the 17-story tower located on the Emory University Hospital Midtown campus at Linden Avenue and Peachtree Street. Previously, patients would have to travel from one office to another. This was an inconvenient way to receive care, said Dr. Suresh Ramalingam, executive director at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.
“This new design is going to, in our view, transform cancer care in Atlanta and beyond,” Ramalingam told Rough Draft.
“Even within this facility we have taken great depth to consider the patient experience and the ease with which they can navigate,” he said. “So all the care comes to the patient as opposed to the patient having to go from place to place.”
For example, the pharmacy is next to cancer institute’s exit. When patients leave the institute, they can pick up their medications and then go to their car. Before, patients would often have to get their prescriptions filled at outside pharmacies.
“That’s the level of detail that we have put into designing this building,” Ramalingam said.
The $440 million building broke ground in 2019. Input from more than 160 patients, families and care team members helped the design team see the cancer treatment experience through the patients’ eyes, Ramalingam explained.
The care model brings outpatient and inpatient cancer care together in five “care communities” organized by type of cancer, with adjoining floors, shared living rooms and shared care teams of experts from multiple disciplines.
“We have all these services available, but they don’t happen in the same place — they’re spread out all on the hospital campus, which is how it is in most centers across the country,” Ramalingam said.
“We envision the cancer care model where everything comes to the patient,” he said.
A ribbon-cutting event on May 2 celebrated the opening of the building and featured remarks from Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and several Emory dignitaries, including Emory University President Gregory Fenves.
The new cancer institute was built with a $200 million gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation.
“Robert Woodruff established Winship in the 1930s to bring the highest standards of cancer care to Georgia,” said Russell Hardin, president of the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, in a written statement.
“He was determined that Georgians would not need to travel elsewhere for the best cancer treatment. This new facility promises not only to expand access for more patients but also to make cancer treatment much more patient friendly,” Hardin said.
The new cancer institute by the numbers:
• 17 stories
• More than 455,000 square feet
• Built on just over 3 acres that was once a parking lot
• 80 private inpatient beds
• 6 operating rooms
• Up to 24 private care suites per outpatient floor