Massey celebrates new world-class oncology pavilion in downtown Richmond
VCU Massey Cancer Center celebrated the final steel beam being raised to the top of its new world-class oncology pavilion in downtown Richmond with a virtual ceremony on Tuesday. The pavilion is part of a new 17-story, $384 million VCU Health Adult Outpatient Pavilion, the largest capital construction project in the health system’s history. The beam was decorated with handwritten messages of support and encouragement from members of the Massey community before being placed at the top of the building.
The oncology pavilion will serve as the new hub for the majority of Massey’s cancer services downtown. It will feature medical, surgical and radiation oncology clinics with shared spaces to support Massey’s multidisciplinary, collaborative teams in delivering seamless, well-coordinated care. It will also include an infusion treatment floor with double the number of infusion chairs currently in Massey’s Dalton Oncology Clinic.
The 615,000-square-foot VCU Health Adult Outpatient Pavilion will have two entrances: one side for Massey’s outpatient care and the other side for a variety of outpatient clinics such as orthopedics, pulmonology and urology, which are currently located at the Ambulatory Care Center, North Hospital and Nelson Clinic. Other services that will be provided on-site include laboratory, medical imaging and rehabilitation, including physical, occupational and speech therapy.
Located at the corner of North 10th and East Leigh streets, the building is strategically located on the perimeter of the MCV Campus to make access easier. It will also include a 472,000-square-foot parking deck that increases the patient and visitor parking options on the downtown medical campus by adding more than 1,000 parking spaces at the point of service. The projected opening date is in December 2021.
“Today’s ceremony marks an important milestone for Massey and this oncology pavilion represents our commitment to the best in outpatient cancer care,” said Robert Winn, M.D., director of VCU Massey Cancer Center and senior associate dean for cancer innovation at the VCU School of Medicine. “This new space supports Massey’s vision of a future without cancer. It will improve our community’s access to comprehensive cancer care and allow us to provide our patients the welcoming and healing environment they deserve.”
The new radiation oncology clinic will be above ground and will feature three leading-edge linear accelerators (treatment machines), including a cutting-edge machine with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) integrated as part of the unit. The blending of MRI technology into a linear accelerator allows real-time treatment tailoring to ensure direct targeting of the disease site, thereby protecting surrounding organs and tissue from radiation in a very precise manner. A brachytherapy suite with enhanced image guidance equipment, including ultrasound, CT (computed tomography) and MRI capabilities, will serve as a preeminent radiation oncology procedure space. The program will also feature both PET-CT (positron emission tomography-CT) and MRI simulators to further enhance treatment efficacy and provide important research opportunities to improve treatment outcomes.
“These new capabilities will allow us to further personalize radiation treatment for each cancer patient, thus minimizing toxicities and improving outcomes. Additionally, we anticipate that the enhanced precision of real-time imaging will advance clinical care and research in ways that are just now being explored,” said Douglas Arthur, M.D., chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and associate director for clinical affairs at Massey. “Our radiation facilities and technologies will be on par with the very best in the country.”
Furthermore, the oncology pavilion will have its own dedicated entrance, lobby, elevators and valet and self-parking areas for cancer patients. Design plans follow a holistic/family-centered care model aimed at addressing the psychological, emotional and social needs of cancer patients and their families. The oncology pavilion will feature a range of amenities and support services, including a café, retail pharmacy, wig salon, medical legal partnership office providing free legal counseling, patient resource library, areas where patients can meet for support groups and wellness workshops, and an integrative health suite offering complementary therapies.
With ongoing input from patient and family advisory committees, the facilities are intended to create a connected patient experience and single point of care where all of the various cancer services such as consultations, exams, lab work, treatments, imaging procedures, nutrition counseling, social work, rehabilitation, genetic counseling and pharmacy pick-ups are available under one roof. Additionally, the spaces are designed with a functional, efficient layout to improve patient flow, reduce wait times and simplify wayfinding.
In addition to the top-caliber clinical care, the building will feature innovative technology and collaborative spaces for research and teaching. A hallmark of Massey, pioneering clinical trials will continue to be offered, giving patients hope and expanded treatment options, including novel therapies.
Martin Johnson, a Massey Advisory Board member who was recently diagnosed with and treated for throat cancer at Massey, spoke during the virtual topping out ceremony to express gratitude for the extraordinary care he received and to proudly support the important work of the clinicians and researchers at the cancer center.
“Soon anyone who comes to Massey and VCU Health seeking care will be able to do so in a state-of-the-art, world-class facility that will reflect the state-of-the-art, world-class doctors, nurses and staff that are housed in it,” Johnson said. “This will be their refuge and one that we all will be proud of. There is no doubt that in this building lives will be saved every day.”