Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, NY, broke ground on Friday, October 28 for its new $13 million Walker Center for Cancer Care designed by The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM). The new 22,000-SF facility will bring Medical Oncology Infusion and Radiation Oncology together consolidating all practices in one united location to provide state-of-the-art comprehensive cancer care for both local and regional cancer patients.
‘The central theme of the design for the Cancer Center is the word “hope.” Samaritan made it clear from the start of this project that the new cancer center should invoke a strong feeling of hope for patients, family members, and staff,’ says David Neal, AIA, principal-in-charge on the project. “Advances in technology, and the environment in which care is delivered can have a tremendous impact on the success of treatment, and this facility will provide the best technology and environment for successful cancer treatment outcomes in the region.”
The facility’s modern design features abundant natural light; easy and convenient accessibility to staff and support services; and a calm, healing environment. The design is based around a community living room that includes a fireplace seating area, education area, internet cafe, boutique, as well as a community conference space. The first floor consists of community areas which allow patients to receive support in navigating the facility. The medical and radiation oncology spaces will be accessed through both sides of the central core, providing for easy mobility to the primary patient areas. To give patients privacy and a more serene atmosphere, the center will feature a drive-up entrance and separate parking lot so that they can come and go freely without having to walk the whole hospital.
The infusion suite is separated into two wings on the second floor and offers additional privacy while embracing a private rooftop healing garden. During the four-to-five-hour oncology treatments on the second floor, patients will be able to view the landscaping and wind sculptures within the garden providing serenity and comfort. In addition to the primary spaces, the center includes its own 797 pharmacy and laboratory.
The groundbreaking ceremony featured speakers including Samaritan Medical Center President and CEO Thomas Carman, several oncologists with the medical center, benefactors, and others. A new donor recognition wall was also revealed at the ceremony. The project is set to complete in the spring of 2018.