Parkview Cancer Institute to feature four-story garden, specialized oncologists

Yellow railings stand where glass panels will be over the lobby of the Parkview Cancer Institute. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
The Parkview Cancer Institute is scheduled to open June 5. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
The Parkview Cancer Institute is under construction next to Parkview Regional Medical Center. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Eric Westgerdes, project manager for Weigand Construction, stands in a room with some walls that have 6 feet of concrete to prevent radiation leakage at the Parkview Cancer Institute under construction. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
The doorway to this room shows the thickness of the concrete to prevent radiation leakage at Parkview Cancer Institute under construction. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of The News-Sentinel)
This floor will have infusion areas that allow some patients to get treatment with a friend beside them. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
The Parkview Cancer Institute is under construction. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Dave McGill of BZW Master Painters sands down a wall at Parkview Cancer Institute. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Scott James is chief operating officer of Parkview Cancer Institute. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)
Eric Westgerdes, project manager for Weigand Construction, stands in the lobby of the Parkview Cancer Institute under construction. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of News-Sentinel.com)

With its four-story garden, shakes to tempt the palate and oncologists who specialize in a specific disease, the Parkview Cancer Institute will have a “wrap-your-arms-around-the-patient” feel, said its chief operating officer, Scott James.

James led a media tour through the $100 million project that’s under construction at the Parkview Regional Medical Center complex off Interstate 69. The 200-000-square foot, five-story institute is set to open June 5.

From the moment patients enter they’ll be treated like guests. The nontraditional front desk will have a concierge-like service to take patients to their area. To the left of the lobby will be the “survivorship clinic” for after-treatment care including dietary services.

“As we talked to our focus groups a lot of patients after they’ve had their journey of cancer, they don’t really want to go back through the building where they had their care.”

The institute will be connected on two floors to the main hospital so patients can come through for MRIs without having to go through the admissions process again.

James looked at several treatment facilities around the country. A Fort Collins, Colo., facility inspired the outdoor patio planned for one of the upper stories where hot food, a salad bar and shakes and smoothies for those undergoing chemotherapy treatment will be served.

Parkview had been seeing 1,500 cancer patients annually, which has grown to 2,200 in the two years since the cancer institute was announced, James said. The goal is to serve 3,000 patients.

Over the last 12-18 months the number of patients receiving infusions, including chemotherapy, has grown from 23 a day to 51 a day as people from South Bend and Goshen come as the hospital has increased its number of doctors.

It now has six oncologists who specialize in an area, including one in breast cancer, two in lung cancer and one in gastrointestinal cancer, with three more to be hired in the fall, James said.

Doctors and surgeons will work in “pods” where doctors can step out of one of the exam rooms circling the pod while seeing a patients to consult with a surgeon in the center area.

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