October 26, 2007

Cancer Center embarks on campaign to raise $10 million

Featured Image

Improvements being made to patient areas at the Henry-Joyce Cancer Clinic include more natural light. (rendering courtesy of Southeast Ventures)

Cancer Center embarks on campaign to raise $10 million

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center has launched a $10 million capital campaign to fund expansion of the Henry-Joyce Cancer Clinic.

Construction has already begun on the project to dramatically expand the clinic and provide a more comfortable, healing environment for patients and their families, in addition to improving research areas.

“We are making headway toward meeting our goal, with $3.6 million already pledged by donors in early conversations about this campaign,” said Orrin Ingram, chair of the Board of Overseers for Vanderbilt-Ingram and co-chair of the expansion project.

“We know many families have experienced the devastation of cancer and we hope this giving campaign will provide them an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families.”

Built nearly 20 years ago — and a decade since its last significant expansion — the cancer clinic is past due for renovation. There were nearly 52,000 patient visits last fiscal year — an increase of nearly 60 percent since 2002. With America's aging population, demand for cancer care will continue to grow because cancer incidence is 10 times more common after age 65.

Without this extensive renovation the cancer clinic simply cannot accommodate all of the patients who need access to the center, consistently ranked among the best in cancer care by U.S. News & World Report.

The construction, which began this spring, is designed to significantly improve the patient experience. There will be double the square footage available for cancer care on the first and second floors of the clinic, and double the number of chemotherapy chairs, which will reduce wait times for patients. The renovation will increase the number of exam, consultation and procedure rooms by 75 percent. There also will be a redesigned reception area in the lobby of the Frances Williams Preston Research Building and a larger, more centrally located Patient & Family Resource Center. Perhaps best of all, the waiting areas and treatment rooms will provide more natural light and more comfortable, spacious seating for patients and visitors.

Beth Franklin, a member of the Board of Overseers and co-chair of the expansion project, knows firsthand how important it is to provide patients and families with a comfortable, nurturing environment. Both she and her mother were diagnosed with cancer and received their care at the clinic.

“Life has a way of tapping us on the shoulder and forcing us to take a long overdue look at what is really important,” said Franklin. “For me, that moment happened the day I discovered that I had cancer and again when my mother was diagnosed.

While my mother passed away, I have peace of mind knowing she received the best care in the world at this clinic and I know how important it is for other people to receive that high quality of care in the best possible setting.”

The renovation also will provide more space for research, including the ability to offer more clinical trials.

“Through clinical trials, we translate laboratory-based advances to our patients,” said Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and interim director of Vanderbilt-Ingram.

“The creation of dedicated space for delivery of Phase I clinical trials will speed the development of effective new therapies.”

The renovation project, with a total price tag of $16.5 million to $20 million, is scheduled for completion in late 2008.

This project is part of Vanderbilt's comprehensive Shape the Future campaign, an ambitious university-wide endeavor with an overall goal of $1.75 billion.

In addition to the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center's expansion project, the priorities of Shape the Future include support for scholarships, faculty chairs and other important program expansions in the planning stages. Shape the Future is chaired by Monroe Carell Jr. The campaign continues through 2010.