To respond to the growing demand in cancer services that the existing cancer center was experiencing, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is expanding its comprehensive cancer center to help patients cope with the daunting challenges of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Cancer treatment is one of the fastest-growing services, according to Bonnie Davis, a national media relations manager at the center.
The center is adding an additional 25 intensivists—physicians who specialize in the care of critically ill patients—to a team of more than 150 clinicians and scientists who represent all aspects of cancer care and research, according to a release from the center. The $125 million capital construction project that began in June 2011 opens its doors to patients next week as the region’s first dedicated cancer hospital.
Patients and their families, clinicians, scientists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants will be working in an expanded space totaling 530,600 square feet, having added282,800 square feet to the center’s original floor plan. The expansion includes a courtyard nestled in the center of the upper floors, airy and bright private rooms, laundry facilities, and small kitchenettes on each inpatient floor.
The expansion raises the number of acute care oncology inpatient beds to 148, from a previous total of 113. A new oncology intensive care unit has been built. The expansion includes the addition of four inpatient floors, a day hospital floor, and one administrative floor. This consolidates all inpatient and outpatient services under one roof for convenience and to improve the patient experience.
Clinicians can look forward to additional research facilities, greater access to clinical trial programs, and larger patient pools to draw from. According to the release, there are more than 200 cancer-related clinical trials under way at the Medical Center, many of which were initiated by leading experts in their fields.
“The translational science research that takes place as part of the Comprehensive Cancer Center contributes significantly to research advances, on a regional and national level, and has a direct impact on patient care and treatments,” said Edward Abraham, MD, dean of the Wake Forest School of Medicine, in a statement.