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Philadelphia Business Journal: Get a look at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper

Editor’s Note: The following article originally ran in the Philadelphia Business Journal on October 7, 2013.

Get a look at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper

Oct 7, 2013

John George
Senior Reporter-Philadelphia Business Journal

The MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper got its official unveiling Monday morning. It marks Cooper Health System’s most significant step to date to keep South Jersey patients in need of advanced care from crossing a bridge to get that medical attention in Philadelphia or elsewhere.

The four-story, $100 million building at Haddon Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Camden is solely dedicated to the care of cancer patients.

Cooper University Health Care and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center became partners in the project, this year. Planning started way back in 2002.

The partnership will create expanded access to clinical trials for cancer patients in South Jersey, and bring MD Anderson treatment plans and protocols to the Cooper campus. The two organizations also plan to work together to expand services at Cooper’s existing cancer treatment facility in Voorhees, N.J.

Dr. Generosa Grana, director of the cancer center, said during a tour of the facility that she believes the building’s best feature is an expansive infusion therapy unit on the third floor. The unit, she said, allows patients to receive chemotherapy in one of 14 bays in an open area where they can pass the time by talking with other patients or watching television, or they can receive their care in one of two private rooms.

“Cancer patients spend a lot of time getting infusion therapy, unfortunately,” Grana said.

Other features of the cancer center, which will emphasize a multidisciplinary approach to patient treatment, include a variety of supportive-care services ranging from complementary medicine to nutrition. The center also has a host of advanced technology — including a Cyberknife and gamma knife for radiosurgery, daVinci robotic surgery capabilities, a linear accelerator, and PET-CT scanner.

Grana said the 103,500-square-foot building was designed to accommodate future growth. The fourth floor is shell space that will be developed based on demand. The structure was designed so another five floors could be added if needed.

Grana said she anticipates the first area that will need to be expanded is the clinical exam area on the first floor that has 19 exam rooms that will have to be shared by the 50 physicians who will be seeing patients in the new building.

The MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper was designed by Philadelphia architecture firm Francis Cauffman. P. Agnes, also of Philadelphia, served as contractor during the 18-month building project.