Key milestone completed on new Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center
July 12, 2017 | Jacksonville, Florida
Final steel beams placed at topping out ceremony for iconic center that will dramatically expand cancer care in the region
Baptist Health is one step closer to providing even greater access to comprehensive cancer care as the final steel beams were placed for the new Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Local officials, along with Baptist Health team members and MD Anderson Cancer Center leaders from Houston, celebrated the topping out ceremony today for the new nine-story cancer center, expected to be completed in June 2018. The final two beams, signed by patients, family members, visitors, team members and physicians, were ceremoniously raised to the top of the more than 330,000-square-foot iconic building.
The new cancer center is being built on San Marco Boulevard across from the existing Baptist MD Anderson, which opened in October 2015. Once complete, the more than $150 million center will dramatically expand cancer care and provide hope for adult patients in the region.
"This new Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center will serve as a beacon of hope to adult patients and their families who are facing this devastating disease that has touched all of us at some point in our lives. In Northeast Florida alone, more than 7,000 people are diagnosed each year with cancer," said Hugh Greene, president and CEO of Baptist Health. "At Baptist MD Anderson, patients will continue to receive customized cancer treatment by a team of physicians and clinicians working together to provide cancer care specific to their illness."
Topping out ceremonies, which originated in Europe, are one of the oldest customs in construction. A tree's topmost branch was historically placed on the roof of a new dwelling in honor of the tree's use in building the home. Today, topping out symbolizes a celebration of the skills of the ironworkers who have brought us to this point in construction.
More than 1,200 workers from 45 different subcontractors have been involved in the construction led by a partnership between Jacksonville-based Perry-McCall Construction and DPR Construction. HKS Architects Inc. and FreemanWhite, a Haskell Company dedicated exclusively to health care, are the design team. After the initial construction investment, the economic impact of Baptist MD Anderson is projected to be more than $2.5 billion over a 10-year period.
The new state-of-the-art cancer center is being built to focus on the patient's needs from the time of arrival, to when he or she enters the center, as well as their individualized treatment plan. An open courtyard and garden in the center, for example, will provide natural lighting, warmth and comfort for patients and their families.
When complete, the new cancer center will be triple the size of the current Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center, which opened in October 2015. Baptist MD Anderson combines the strengths of Baptist Health Jacksonville, the largest health care system in Northeast Florida, and MD Anderson Cancer Center, the leading cancer center in the nation. Baptist MD Anderson became the third partner member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a collaborative, global program of hospitals and health care systems focused on extending MD Anderson's multidisciplinary, research-driven cancer care. Physicians at Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston are clinically and operationally integrated to deliver the most innovative care and better serve patients and their families close to home.
The new cancer center is being uniquely designed with the help of cancer patients and Baptist team members to deliver the best possible patient-focused experience. Custom-designed areas such as infusion pods have been selected especially with the comfort and privacy of the patient in mind.
Similar to the current center, the new Baptist MD Anderson provides services to patients and their families close to home. All the outpatient services are in one location including clinical oncology, radiology, imaging, infusion, research, physician offices, and support services such as nutrition, care coordination and genetic counseling. Services are geared to the patient's physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
Patients at Baptist MD Anderson receive integrated cancer care treatment, advanced technologies and leading-edge treatments without leaving the area. Modeled after MD Anderson Cancer Center, patients receive proven, evidence-based treatment from a team of physician specialists with expertise in their specific cancer.
For information on Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center go to baptistmdanderson.com or call 1.844.632.2278.