James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, Rochester, New York, United States
Blair + Mui Dowd Architects, PC

United under one roof, the medical staff, educators, and researchers at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center are committed to raising the bar for cancer care in a humanistic way. This comprehensive cancer center, completed in July 2012, offers examination and diagnostic services in its multi-disciplinary clinics and breast care clinic as well as full treatment services including infusion therapy, apheresis, radiation therapy, and inpatient care. A library on the entry floor offers educational resources to patients and their families.

The organisational core of the building is an elegant three-story atrium that provides ample natural light, visibility, and connectivity across departments. Fully glazed entry lounges on each level help orient visitors with views of the landscaped medical campus. A consistent palette of natural and sustainable materials – cherry wood wall paneling, terrazzo flooring, transparent glazing, and exterior brick that match the adjoining hospital – create a comforting environment for building users. The stone healing garden, waiting area skylights, and living room setting provide a welcoming environment that is conducive to healing.

Input from staff volunteers, cancer survivors, physicians, and nurses resulted in a sensitive, efficient design that provides compassionate multidisciplinary patient care, improves cancer research, and enriches healthcare education. The infusion therapy area, where cancer patients spend many hours, has spacious, private infusion bays with maximal daylighting. The 3 patient units, where cancer patients recover from bone marrow transplants, surgeries, or other oncology treatments, feature decentralized nurse stations and all private bedrooms with restrooms and family sleep areas. For researchers and healthcare professionals, public spaces located on each floor promote cross-discipline interaction, resulting in increased work efficiency, improved satisfaction, and a higher employee retention. Throughout the building, clear wayfinding minimizes confusion for patients and visitors, and separate staff circulation reduces infection control issues. In addition, the large, open floor plates permit flexible planning and the ability to expand the facility for future needs.

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