BUFFALO, NY--The cornerstone of a $241.1 million dollar major modernization project was unveiled at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. The new Diagnostic and Treatment Center and patient tower (Figure 1) feature state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging, radiotherapy, surgery, postanesthesia care, and intensive care units. The 5-year renovation of the 25-acre campus coincides with the Institutes centennial anniversary.
"This facility has a magnificent 100-year history with a 100-year future," said New York Governor George Pataki at the opening. Roswell Park was the first cancer center in the United States, he said, adding that "we want Roswell Park to be not only number one chronologically but also number one in the quality of care for patients across New York State and the country. We are confident that Roswell Park will be the finest in the world in the 21st century."
Entering the facility, visitors are struck by the 75-foot atrium (Figure 2) and wall-sized nature photographs lining every hallway. Large clinics ring the atrium to facilitate the anticipated annual outpatient caseload of over 125,000 visits.
The 10-story patient tower has a capacity of 133 inpatient beds, including intensive care and bone marrow transplantation units that are equipped with a unique air filtering system. This air system clears an entire floor, increasing the mobility of immunosuppressed patients within these units.
In the fall, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute will experience a redefining moment in its 100-year history. "There will be a new governance agreement where we will form an alliance and network for the delivery of health care," Governor Pataki said at the ceremony. "The legislation will structure the hospital properly and allow for change. The commitment of New York State to this facility to offer world class health care will continue beyond today."
Change in Governance
The new legislation authorizes the restructuring of Roswell Park Cancer Institute into a public benefit corporation. This is an organization authorized by the State of New York that has some powers of the government and some powers of a corporation.
The change in the governance of the hospital will allow Roswell Park to enter into cooperative agreements with other hospitals and with managed care organizations. It will also permit the Institute to develop and market products and ser-vices, while still protecting its employees under New York State law.
In addition to the new hospital, the entire complex has been renovated and expanded, including the creation of a Medical Research Center with a state-of-the-art vivarium.
The original hospital and adjoining buildings will be demolished next year after they have been vacated. The cleared site will be developed as a park in the center of the complex.