Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital opens its brand new cancer center more than twice the size of its current 28,000 square foot center.
The Herbert-Herman Cancer Center is named after Jim and Judi Herbert, and James Herman, M.D. and his wife Susan. Together the couples contributed $2.5 million for the project.
Dr. Herman, who is the Director of the Sparrow Cancer Center, led a tour of the facility along with Sparrow’s Manager of Planning and Design Staci Bakkegard, in early April.
During the tour, one thing was very clear: the building was designed with the patient’s perspective in mind. Herman explained that a big priority was making room for a multi-disciplinary approach to cancer.
“That’s the approach where a patient comes to the center and all the services come to the patient, so that it’s like one stop shopping. No longer do you have to run around to the surgeon’s office, to the radiation office, to the chemo office, to the social worker, to whatever.”
Bakkegard pointed out many features of the building’s design that would benefit patients. There’s a large parking deck with 600 spaces, a snow melt system in the ground outside to make it safe to enter the building during winter months, and an open, expansive waiting room.
“If anybody’s been in our existing cancer center, one of many things that we lack is waiting room space,” she said. “So this you can see is an actually appropriately-sized waiting room for the number of patients we have. People aren’t sitting knee-to-knee shoulder-to-shoulder anymore.”
There is state of the art medical equipment, like the three linear accelerators, which are huge machines that can destroy cancer cells while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue.
But some features, like the rooftop garden and specially commissioned art installations, are simply to make the patients’ stay more soothing and calm.
“We’re using architecture and art to give a healing environment. The whole emphasis of the new center is patient-centric so I was a real bug about that, because, to come over to a building- I didn’t want the building to be more important than the patients,” Herman said.
The Herbert-Herman Cancer Center sits across Michigan Avenue from Sparrow Hospital. It’s scheduled to open with a community event and ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 11th, and will be open to patients on July 17.