The radiation oncology unit at the 260-bed St. Charles Bend (Ore.) medical center used to be located a mile away from the hospital's medical oncology unit. “A lot of patients needed to go to both,” said architect Karl Sonnenberg, a principal at the Portland, Ore.-based architecture firm ZGF. “They didn't have a very patient-friendly setup.”
Silver Award: St. Charles Cancer Center
That lack of efficiency and convenience for both patients and staff prompted the hospital to plan a new cancer center next to the existing radiation oncology unit. Two three-day planning events let physicians, nurses, support staff and administrators discuss the layout of the planned new facility. They tested its efficiency using a full-size cardboard mockup of an entire floor of the facility.
Thus was born the $10 million, 24,705-square-foot outpatient cancer center, which opened in August 2014 and is the winner of the silver prize in this year's Modern Healthcare Design Awards. The facility combines new and renovated construction, radiation and medical oncology, efficient design and stunning views of a dormant volcano. ZGF, which designed the project, touts it as a model of patient-centered design.
Design Awards judge Rulon Stacey, chair of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award board of overseers, agreed. “They clearly began from a patient's perspective and asked, 'What can we do to make it more pleasing and enhance the patient's ability to get well?' Then they asked, 'How do we make it as efficient as possible for employees?' ”
Design Awards judge Agnessa Todorova, a healthcare architect and director of integration for Brisbane, Calif.-based Aditazz, said ZGF “harmoniously integrated” the new medical oncology and renovated existing radiation oncology facilities. “It's just a very elegant design and it doesn't look to me like a hospital.”
Henry Chao, a principal with HOK architects in New York who served as a judge, said the project was “beautifully done” and demonstrates “really quality work” in both its building design and landscaping. It also fits beautifully into its natural surroundings, he said.
The center's positioning on its site and its floor-to-ceiling windows were designed to maximize views of Pilot Butte, a dormant volcano in a nearby state park. When weather permits, patients can have their chemotherapy infusion treatment outdoors, with views of the Cascade Mountains.
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