Cedars-Sinai's Samuel Oschin Cancer Center Opens New Facility
The State-of-the-Art Cancer Center, Opening This Week, Offers 45,000 Square Feet of Light-Filled Space and a Healing Environment
The team tasked with designing the new Samuel Oschin Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai had one overarching goal: creating a safe, soothing patient environment. Today, as the doors to the center swing open for the first time, patients will see that goal realized in the spacious, light-filled setting many will think of as their second home during their course of treatment.
“It’s all about the patients’ comfort and sense of wellbeing,” said architect Adrienne Haynes, AIA, manager of Design and Construction at Cedars-Sinai, who was responsible for incorporating essential regulatory, clinical and aesthetic elements into the 45,000-square-foot center. “We created a modern space that’s easy to navigate, infused with natural light and filled with soft, comfortable seating and eye-catching art.”
The new state-of-the-art outpatient cancer center, located on the seventh floor of the Pavilion, is part of Cedars-Sinai Cancer, the enterprise that coordinates cancer care and research throughout the entire Cedars-Sinai health system. It is the culmination of seven years of research and planning by Haynes and a team of healthcare professionals and patients whose shared vision has now come to fruition.
That vision includes easily navigated “neighborhoods” – designated areas in the unit where patients with a particular cancer type occupy the same waiting room and clinical exam area as their fellow travelers. Patients also are treated by the same nurses during their weeks of therapy, reducing the stress of frequent visits that sometimes stretch to eight hours.
“Past and present patients helped us design the space,” said Joan August, MS, vice president of Cedars-Sinai Cancer and one of the project leads. “They told us what elements were lacking in the old space and what they wished for in the new, including an accessible cart with wheels installed in each infusion bay for stowing personal items and holding a laptop.”
That wish has come true. Additionally, patients reclining by a window in the long-infusion area are able to adjust the shades, allowing as much light in their individual space as they want.
The cancer center planners viewed the space through the “lens of the entire cancer journey,” said kidney cancer expert Robert A. Figlin, MD, deputy director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer and a design team member. “Patients currently diagnosed or needing experimental therapy, children, and those at risk for cancer can take advantage of the current and future technology we employ, and make sure their time spent there is a positive one.”
Particular attention was given to the two pediatric waiting areas, one of which features an interactive game room with touch-screen technology, Starlit lighting and Xbox and PlayStation games. Bone marrow transplant patients and other patients who are immunocompromised have their own private waiting area.
To keep patients and employees safe in the new space amid COVID-19, Cedars-Sinai continues to take extra safety steps, including following universal masking precautions and practicing physical distancing in waiting and clinical areas.
Two newly designed infusion areas – short- and long-term – accommodate 53 patients and their guests, an on-site pharmacy and an expanded blood-draw station. Patients treated with infusions can visit the site from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and on all holidays.
The new space also features clinical exam areas, scheduling and registration, transportation, social work consults and counseling and nutrition consultations – all a few steps from patient treatment areas, reducing delays in patient care, said Stephanie Chang, RN, executive director of the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center and the Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center—A Project of Women’s Guild. The breast center also is part of Cedars-Sinai Cancer. Research staff are available to meet with patients seeking information about clinical trials and research opportunities available through Cedars-Sinai Cancer.
“Cedars-Sinai is a leading-edge institution for both research and clinical cancer care,” said Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of Cedars-Sinai Cancer. “We are thrilled that the space in which we deliver this lifesaving care while integrating clinical trial opportunities will now reflect our excellence.”
The environment also will have a positive emotional impact on cancer patients, said Arash Asher, MD, director of Wellness, Resilience and Survivorship Programs at Cedars-Sinai.
“Nobody chooses to go through long and difficult cancer treatments,” said Asher, an assistant professor of Medicine. “But for those who must, having a calming environment that optimizes a sense of wellbeing, with close friends and family members close by, can have a very meaningful impact on the quality of life of those patients.”
Read a cancer survivor’s empowering story on the Cedars-Sinai blog: Climbing Beyond Cancer