First phase of $49 million cancer center nears completion

Kettering Health Network patient group advises on project.

The first phase of construction on the new $49 million Kettering Health Network cancer center is nearly complete.

Crews are finishing the framework of the 120,000 square foot facility on the Kettering Medical Center Campus.

“We’re, you know, a week or two ahead of schedule because of the nice weather. We’ve been fortunate that way,” said Kettering Health Network spokeswoman Elizabeth Long.

Kettering Health Network hopes to get the keys to the new facility in November 2016 with the plan to start treating patients in the new building in December 2016.

“It’s a cancer center for patients by patients,” Long said.

A patient advisory council, which is composed of cancer patients and survivors, has played an integral role in the design, according to Long.

“(They’re) telling us, ‘Here’s how we’d like to navigate. Here are things we like. Here are things we don’t like,’” Long explained. “Everything from picking out upholstery to colors inside the cancer center.”

Kettering Health Network diagnoses between 2,400 and 2,500 new cancer cases each year. While Long said the network will continue to provide cancer services at its other hospitals, the new location will offer features including a boutique geared towards cancer patients.

“The cancer center will also feature a cafe that has items that are designed for the nutritional needs of cancer patients. It takes into consideration their likes and dislikes while they’re going through treatment,” Long said.

One suggestion the council made can be seen at other Kettering Health Network facilities now, and it will be available in the new cancer center.

“They had said, ‘We’d really like massage while we’re going through these treatments,’” Long said. “So we’ve already implemented that and are doing medical massage in our facilities.”

The design of the new facility will feature earth tones and nature-inspired decor to promote a healing environment, Long said.

“Nobody really wants to be in a hospital whether you’re having some kind of surgery or whether it’s for cancer treatment,” Long said. “We want … that kind of environment that will promote not only the physical healing but the mental healing and the spiritual healing as well.”

The final steel beam will be installed during a topping off ceremony on Dec. 9 at 1 p.m.