Egg Harbor facility provides a theraputic experience for cancer patients
When EwingCole designed the AtlantiCare Cancer Care Institute, a state-of-the-art facility housing outpatient medical oncology, infusion and radiation oncology services, the goal was to create a series of uplifting and therapeutic experiences to help relieve the stress and emotional assault of cancer on patients and their loved ones. In addition, the design sought to improve the comfort of caregivers, sustaining their energy and compassion as they perform their intellectually and emotionally demanding jobs.
Opened in April 2009, the Cancer Care Institute is home to the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technology, including robotically-assisted surgery, linear accelerator image-guided radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, electronic brachytherapy and Cyberknife radiosurgery.
This cutting-edge therapeutic technology is complemented by the thoughtful integration of the facility's surroundings. Situated in AtlantiCare's 25-acre Health Park, the design team worked to bring nature indoors via daylight, materials and imagery - rippled sand, clouds and sky, dune grasses, stones and pebbles, blues and greens and beach-weathered wood echo the facility's coastal location.
Generous windows frame standing groves of pines and oaks. Patients receiving chemotherapy have views of a balcony garden, green roof, and the woods beyond. Waiting patients overlook indoor trees and fountains in the sunlit lobby. The shape of the building, its relationship to the nearby forest, its interior plantings, and second-floor green roof were developed to perform together to sustain the health of both patient and environment.
Patients have a choice of eight private infusion bays for chemotherapy, in which patients can control the temperature and lighting and watch television; or a 'buddy bay', open infusion bays for patients who prefer the company of other patients. Psychosocial support programs for patients and families enhance the treatment programs. Conference rooms and classrooms house programs in health education and cancer prevention.
The Cancer Care Institute earned USGBC LEED Gold certification. It uses 22% less water and is 18% more energy efficient than a comparable standard facility. Established LEED thresholds were exceeded by purchasing additional renewable energy credits to ensure 70% of the power comes from a renewable source such as wind, photovoltaic, or hydroelectric power. An innovative green housekeeping program further reduces exposure of patients, visitors, and staff to chemical contaminants and allergens.