Health Team

Duke aims for $235M cancer center to be welcoming

Posted August 3, 2011

— The shaky economy hasn't slowed down recent hospital construction in the Triangle. The new Duke Cancer Center will open in February as the biggest project of all.

The $235 million center will bring all elements of outpatient cancer care together under one roof.

"We'll do a better job at integrating (services), but we will also have more space to provide those services," said Tracey Gosselin, an associate chief nursing officer in oncology.

The Duke Cancer Center is designed to be more welcoming for both patients and their families. It will alleviate patients' complaints that chemotherapy infusion rooms are too small, leaving 10 to 15 square feet per patient.

"In the new area, we're going to see 100 square feet per patient," Gosselin said.

Patients will have the option of being closer to each other for conversation, or they can choose more privacy. Patients lying down for radiation treatments can stare up an animated view of a starry sky.

People in waiting areas can watch TV or wait in other areas designed for less noise.

Duke aims for $235M cancer center to be welcoming Duke aims for $235M cancer center to be welcoming

The new cancer center will let patients' relatives take a break without going far from their loved one.

"Leaving now means that you're still in the building. The cafe is there, the resource center, our shop, our quiet room," Gosselin said.

Even the spacious lobby is designed to be welcoming.

"The area itself will be a very nice, hospitality kind of feeling as you come in to get your treatment," construction director Shawn Subasic said.

The construction places Duke University Medical Center in a better position to serve an expected 21 percent increase in new cancer cases as baby boomers age.

The hospital is recruiting new nurses, more faculty and staff in a variety of supportive care services, such as social workers, dietitians and cancer counselors. A new pharmacy and mammography suite will also need workers.

The Duke Cancer Center is part of the new Duke Medicine Pavilion, scheduled to open in two years. The nearly $600 million project will offer 160 intensive and intermediate care rooms and 16 more operating rooms.

Elsewhere in the Triangle, UNC Hospitals opened the $178 million North Carolina Cancer Hospital in August 2009, and Rex Hospital in Raleigh will break ground on the $60 million North Carolina Cancer Hospital in late September.

WakeMed opened its $99 million children's hospital in May 2010.


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  • heelsgirl05 Aug 8, 2011

    Animal lover, as a Nurse myself, I can tell you that we educate patients on dietary choices. Its part of my job, and those Nurses who work for "greedy" Duke do it too. They are not keeping patients in the dark, some people just dont want to make changes, and they dont necessarily prevent stuff from happening. perfectly healthy people get cancer, have heart attacks, strokes, etc.

  • batcave Aug 8, 2011

    Animal Lover

    Wrong, Duke is a Private Not for Profit hospital, cancer cannot be reversed via diet, Duke"s Live for Life program promotes a healthy life style, something an extremist like you wouldn't get, stop drinking kool aid , that can be bad as well.

  • itsnotmeiswear Aug 5, 2011

    I would not go to any clinic or hospital associated with Duke. I have a friend that resigned from a senior finance position after her concerns/complaints about over billing patients were ignored. She told me she couldn't sleep at night worrying about the lives that were being ruined.

  • ladonnawinter Aug 4, 2011

    Exciting! What a nice place for patients and family members to come without feeling like they are in an invasive hospital.

  • CestLaVie Aug 4, 2011

    I'll bet you do want to make it "welcoming", considering that so many are walking through your doors for treatment.

    Sssshhhhhhh....don't tell anyone but there IS a cure for cancer. Duke or any of the other hospitals, doctors' offices, surgery & treatment centers don't want you to know this. They don't want you to stymie the enormous flow of greedy profits they receive for keeping you in the dark as to your own health.

    Cut the meat, poultry, dairy, sugar & processed foods & you'll see better & rewarding health return, slowly. These changes prevent AND reverse cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia.....the list goes on & on.

    Don't believe me? Guess you'd rather be sick than healthy.

  • BlueDevilFanatic Aug 4, 2011

    As someone who is at the Morris Clinic at Duke on a weekly basis, I am so looking forward to having everything oncology related under one roof with more room for everyone. We've watched the new center from the ground up for the last year and it looks amazing!