LMH Health to begin renovating its Cancer Center soon
photo by: Contributed
LMH Health will soon begin expanding and renovating its Cancer Center. Major efforts are expected to launch in February as design and construction teams work to create an environment that cultivates healing and focuses on a patient-first experience. The Cancer Center renovations are planned to be finished by mid-2025.
The research and planning for the design of the new Cancer Center was a collaborative process among doctors, staff and architects. Earlier this year, the center selected a remodel team which consisted of physicians, a nurse navigator, treatment nurses, front office staff and the pharmacy manager. This team worked alongside architects to create a plan for the clinic that would best satisfy the needs of patients and visitors while making the center more efficient for staff.
The team focused on creating a design for a healing environment that aims to improve patients’ overall sense of well-being and hopefulness. A healing environment can accelerate recovery, reduce stress and anxiety, shorten hospitalizations, reduce medication use and lessen pain.
“It is important for all aspects of the clinic to be represented in the decision-making process,” said Dr. Jodie Barr, an LMH Health Cancer Center physician and member of the remodel team. “We molded everyone’s ideas together to create a functional, efficient clinic.”
The team visited other area cancer centers and researched which features would be the most beneficial. They brought their ideas to the architects who understood the vision and enhanced it further. The architects had them think from patient perspectives through interactive activities to ensure the easiest patient experience possible.
“The architects brought in sample materials for us to feel and walked us through the hallway as if we were patients,” Barr said. “A lot of thought went into patient flow to ensure the patient experience is as easy as possible.”
With the new design, there will be considerably more space in patient rooms and hallways. This will allow for a seamless experience for both staff and patients at the Cancer Center. The new design will allow room for new technology and different services to be added such as a full-time dietician and comprehensive survivorship care.
As the population of cancer survivors continues to rise, there is an increased need to provide cancer survivorship care. The LMH Health Cancer Center team partnered with the Masonic Cancer Alliance at the University of Kansas Cancer Center and created a comprehensive survivorship care plan given to patients at their first appointment after treatment has ended.
The survivorship team also provides a detailed care plan, outlining everything a survivor needs to do moving forward. The survivorship team continues to meet with survivors through the weeks, months and years after treatment to help make sure the survivors stay on track in all aspects of their health.
The LMH Health Cancer Center is an accredited, multidisciplinary cancer treatment center committed to providing patients care in a comfortable, healing environment. In order to ensure the space reflects this, the Cancer Center will undergo a variety of aesthetic changes and additions including:
• Family lounge
• Healing garden
• More natural light
• Open atmosphere for seamless patient experience
• Computer screens in each patient/consult room
• Waiting room expansion
“We want to give patients the most comfortable environment to heal in during difficult times,” said Jill Jordan, practice manager for the Cancer Center. “For some, that means a shorter walk to their room or more natural light during treatment. There are a variety of things that can help patients heal faster and with the new design, we will have something from which every patient can benefit.”
Renovations to the Center are expected to cost between $9 million and $11 million. The LMH Health Foundation is grateful to have received more than $6.5 million in philanthropic support from community members and foundations and continues to accept donations.
“The Cancer Center has the physicians, programs and technology to provide health care that’s not only exceptional for a community hospital — it’s among the best anywhere,” said Rebecca Smith, LMH Health vice president of strategic communication and LMH Health Foundation executive director. “This expansion will ensure our facilities reflect the extraordinarily high level of care provided here.”
Jordan said the community’s commitment to LMH Health is clear.
“We are so committed to the local community and through the donations, we can see how committed the community is to us,” Jordan said. “We would not have been able to make many of these changes without community support.”
— Natalie Terranova is a marketing and communications intern at LMH Health.