When the Upstate Cancer Center opened its doors in July 2014, only the first three floors of the five-story building were completed and occupied. The fourth and fifth floors, each about 20,000 square feet, were constructed but left empty, anticipating future Upstate needs.
Three years later, those needs became obvious as more and more adult cancer patients have been seeking treatment at Upstate, said Dick Kilburg, associate administrator of the Cancer Center. After about a year of designing, planning and construction, the new fourth floor opened in early June. It comprises patient exam rooms, upping the number from 14 to 35.
Moving exam rooms from the second to the fourth floor allows for additional infusion rooms to be added to the second floor, increasing that number from 27 to 44.
The fifth floor is scheduled to open this fall and will house Upstate’s Clinical Pathology Lab. “Patients may never see the lab, but getting lab results to physicians quickly, so that they may initiate appropriate therapy sooner, is key to quality patient care and patient satisfaction,” said Sophia Lustrinelli, department manager of clinical pathology.
Kilburg said the fourth floor was constructed with the same patient-focused design qualities as the rest of the cancer center.
Huge, floor-to-ceiling photo murals of lush garden landscapes adorn the pillars in the reception/waiting area, and wherever you look there is art — from a huge hanging sculpture near the front to vibrant abstracts lining the hallways.
“We’ve had a lot of comments from patients and family members who said they feel like they are going to a museum rather than going for care,” Kilburg said.
“We’re trying to take their mind off why they’re here.”
This article appears in the summer 2018 issue of Cancer Care magazine.