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M. D. Anderson Unveils New Buildings to Meet Increased Demand For Cancer Care and Prevention Services

M. D. Anderson Unveils New Buildings to Meet Increased Demand For Cancer Care and Prevention Services
M. D. Anderson News Release 11/05/04

Employees, volunteers and supporters of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center will celebrate the completed construction of the Ambulatory Clinical Building (ACB) and the Cancer Prevention Building (CPB) in a weekend of festivities beginning Friday, Nov. 5 and continuing through Saturday, Nov. 6. These new facilities add more than 1.1 million square feet to M. D. Anderson’s presence in the Texas Medical Center. The first patients will be seen in the ACB and CPB in January 2005.

M. D. Anderson has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. Last year, the institution recorded more than 537,000 outpatient visits – a 46 percent increase over five years. The new facilities will help the institution meet the increasing demand for outpatient care and services and continue research that will lead to better diagnostic tools and more targeted therapies.

“This is an historic moment for M. D. Anderson and all those we serve,” says M. D. Anderson President John Mendelsohn, M.D. “As the demand for cancer care and research increased, we simply outgrew our main campus. These new buildings allow us to meet the growing demand for research-driven patient care and move us further in our mission to make cancer history.”

A freestanding outpatient treatment center located at 1200 Holcombe Blvd., the ACB is the first clinical building in M. D. Anderson’s history to be built apart from the main campus at 1515 Holcombe Blvd. The ACB will be the new home of the Nellie B. Connally Breast Center, Laura Lee Blanton Gynecologic Oncology Center, the Genitourinary Oncology Center, as well as an expanded 75-bed ambulatory treatment center. There also will be 590 new patient exam rooms.

The challenge of creating a treatment center independent of the main campus influenced every aspect of the planning and design of the 780,000-square foot ACB, according to Thomas Burke, M.D., vice president of operations and chief operating officer ad interim. Patients treated in the ACB will have access to every diagnostic and support service associated with their clinic under one roof and, in most cases, on the same floor as their clinic. Several departments including diagnostic imaging, radiation oncology, plastic surgery and internal medicine will launch satellite centers in the ACB, while maintaining services at the main campus. This represents a great expansion in services and significant investment in new technology.

Other support services housed in the ACB will include outpatient surgery, pathology, laboratory services, fine needle aspiration, infusion therapy and transfusion services.

The concept of a freestanding treatment center also mandated that the building’s amenities mirror those found at the main campus as much as possible:

  • Anderson Network Hospitality Center –  an informal and relaxed environment where cancer survivors provide hospitality, support and information to current patients and their family members
  • Waterfall Café – a 200-seat restaurant with indoor and outdoor terrace seating
    Appearances – a shop where a trained staff will assist patients with breast prostheses, clothing, wigs and other personal care items
  • Volunteer gift shop – a retail shop for gifts and sundries; proceeds benefit volunteer and patient programs
  • Chapel – a non-denominational meditation room for patients, families and employees
  • International Center – a resource center with services such as language assistance to help international patients make a smooth transition into an unfamiliar medical system
  • The Learning Center – a free consumer health library where patients and caregivers can find the latest information on cancer care and support, cancer prevention, and general health issues
  • Place… of wellness – a program offering various enrichment courses, such as yoga and tai chi, support groups and lectures on complementary and alternative therapies aimed at improving quality of life for anyone affected by cancer; programs are free of charge
  • Child visitation area – a recreational area reserved for children age 12 and under while a parent or relative is receiving treatment

With a full range of clinical services and amenities in the ACB, the need for patients to travel between the ACB and main campus is greatly reduced, says Burke. “The building was designed with the patient’s needs at the forefront. Our goal was to maintain efficiency and enhance the patient experience. The design offers an exceptional environment for us to provide patient care in a convenient setting.”

Travel between the ACB and main campus is facilitated by a 1,500-foot pedestrian bridge across Holcombe Blvd. Five 12-passenger, mini-shuttles will transport patients and visitors continuously between the ACB and the main campus.

Adjacent to the ACB, the eight-story CPB is the new home of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, which includes the departments of Clinical Cancer Prevention, Behavioral Science, Epidemiology and Health Disparities and the clinical activities of the Cancer Prevention Center. On the cusp of its 10th anniversary, the division works to advance the science and application of cancer prevention and to eliminate the unequal burden of cancer in minority and underserved populations through multidisciplinary programs in research, clinical service and education.

“For the first time in our history, all aspects of the division will be under one roof,” says Bernard Levin, M.D., Division Head and vice president for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. “This will promote further collaboration among researchers in the division, as well as increased collaboration with other departments, which is integral to population-based science. As we expand our programs, we strive to reach new milestones in prevention research and clinical care to benefit patients.” 

Relocating to the CPB will support growth of the Cancer Prevention Center to meet public demand for expanded services, such as cancer screenings, risk assessment counseling, as well as diagnostic evaluation of selected abnormalities.

All services in the center are expanding, including dermatology and cancer survivorship. The additional space also allows for increased participation in multi-national prevention clinical trials.
The CPB also will house the new Behavioral Research and Treatment Center where investigators will examine the bio-behavioral basis of cancer prevention. Eight laboratory chambers are equipped for research in exercise, social interaction, human information processing, virtual reality, tobacco cessation and sleep.

The ACB and CPB are connected on levels two through eight by an enclosed pedestrian bridge. This enables many physicians who see patients in the ACB to easily access their offices in the CPB.

Within a period of two years, M. D. Anderson is scheduled to open a total of five new buildings to handle increased patient volume and support research programs. In addition to the ACB and CPB, these new buildings include the George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Science Research Building, the Proton Therapy Center and the South Campus Research Building II. Construction of the five buildings has a total cost of more than $868 million and increases M. D. Anderson’s physical presence in the Texas Medical Center from 6.2 million-square feet to nearly 8.8 million-square feet – a boost of 42 percent. The ACB and CPB are being funded primarily through
M. D. Anderson financial resources including operating cash flow and revenue bonds.

FKP Architects (Houston) is the architect of record for the ACB and CPB. Serving as the design architect for the ACB was Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz Architects (San Francisco), who also provided master planning for the site of both buildings. Hensel-Phelps (Houston) is general contractor.


© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center