BALTIMOREJohns Hopkins Medicine has dedicated a new $125 million home for its comprehensive clinical cancer services. A decade in the planning, the half-million square foot Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building is the largest structure on the East Baltimore medical campus. It was designed from the ground up to meet the complex and exacting specifications of cancer specialists and their patients, Johns Hopkins said in a press release.
Maryland Governor Parris Glendening delivered keynote remarks at the dedication ceremony October 25 in the Weinberg Buildings ultramodern three-story skylight lobby. The building will be open for patients in January 2000.
Its a testament to the swift emergence of novel and better treatments that Hopkins needed to plan for this new center to open just 23 years after it dedicated its first state-of-the-art cancer facility in 1976, said Martin D. Abeloff, MD, professor of oncology and director of the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Cancer Center. By combining all of our clinical services in one location, we can bring every level of specialized care to patients in one place, along with equal concern for comfort and efficiency.
Occupying a 2.3-acre site at the northeast corner of Broadway and Orleans Street, the brick-faced Weinberg Building was constructed to blend with Hopkins historic buildings. A glass-enclosed walkway and tunnels connect the building to the main hospital.
The front of the new building faces on Broadway, directly across from the almost completed companion structure, the Bunting Blaustein Cancer Research Building, which will be dedicated this month.
The State of Maryland provided funding for both the Weinberg Building and the Bunting Blaustein Building. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation donated $20 million in 1995 to support construction of the new cancer center. The Bunting family and the family of Jacob and Hilda Blaustein each donated $10 million for the new research facility.
The Weinberg Building will be home to approximately 1,500 employees serving 400 patients a day. There are five floors above ground, which include an expansive outpatient treatment pavilion, self-contained laboratories and blood product supply facilities, high-tech radiation oncology facilities, rooms with special air filters, 16 operating suites, 20 intensive care beds, 62 medical inpatient beds exclusively for cancer patients, a pharmacy, and other support services.The three underground floors include patient and visitor parking.
The Weinberg patient pavilions are designed in pods of up to 18 beds each that incorporate a central work area. The floor plan minimizes the distance staff must travel while on duty, and places medications and other supplies close to each bed. Pneumatic tube systems transport blood products and specimens to every clinical area.
A special feature of the postsurgical ICU is that all levels of care are on the same unit, and are all delivered by the same team.
No Overhead Paging
To ensure a quiet environment, overhead paging has been eliminated. Instead, nurses weare infrared badges that allow them to be tracked by the unit clerk and silently beeped when they are needed.
The interior design team chose warm and inviting colors such as gold, tan, and deep purple. The waiting areas were designed to resemble a home setting. Instead of institutional type chairs lined up in a row, the waiting areas include a mixture of stuffed chairs and love seats, with partitions that create small, private sitting areas.
When patients arrive for an appointment at the new Cancer Center, they register by scanning a Smart Card through an ATM-like computer station. This new registration system automatically checks in and tracks patients from appointment to appointment.