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VCU Health System celebrates opening of new adult outpatient pavilion

vcu healthVCU Health System representatives on Monday celebrated a new standard of patient experience with a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Adult Outpatient Pavilion.

The pavilion, located on Leigh Street between 10th and 11th streets, is the largest outpatient facility of the academic health system. The 17-story, 615,000-square foot facility consolidates 26 outpatient specialties — including neurology, urology, oncology, dermatology, orthopedics and OB/GYN — under one roof. VCU Massey Cancer Center now offers the majority of its outpatient cancer care and wrap-around services in the pavilion, creating a dedicated oncology space offering comfort and convenience for its patients.

“The Adult Outpatient Pavilion is a pivotal chapter in our mission to make world class health care accessible for all,” said Michael Rao, Ph.D, president of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and VCU Health System. “It is our most ambitious and visionary building project yet. Most importantly, it’s a promise to be the answer to people who have run out of answers, and a space with superior patient experience that fosters learning, collaboration and healing.”

The building will serve about 200,000 patients annually, with the ability to expand access and services over time.

In addition to leading-edge treatment, the building features diagnostic testing, medical imaging, an on-site laboratory, medical and oncology infusion services, a pharmacy and café all in one building. A 425,000-square-foot parking deck with 1,000 spaces increases patient and visitor parking options at the point of service.

“The quality of this facility will match the well-known quality of our doctors, nurses and other team members,” said Art Kellermann, M.D., senior vice president for health sciences at VCU and CEO for VCU Health System. “The Adult Outpatient Pavilion ushers in a new era of patient-centered care for VCU Health. Every square foot of this remarkable building is designed to foster a trusted and caring experience. The layout will create a streamlined experience for patients and clinicians that allows us to serve even more members of the Richmond community, as well as patients across the state, our nation and the world.”

Clinical services are co-located to increase collaboration and efficiency of care while making navigation through the building as easy as possible for patients and families. Care comes to the patients, not the other way around. VCU Massey Cancer Center at the Adult Outpatient Pavilion will have designated parking, its own lobby, elevator and entire floors dedicated to cancer services.

“Because of advances that NCI-designated cancer centers like Massey have made in treating cancer, oncology care is increasingly provided in the outpatient setting,” said Robert A. Winn, M.D., director and Lipman Chair in Oncology at VCU Massey Cancer Center. “This new space represents Massey’s commitment to the best in outpatient cancer care and supports our vision of a future without cancer. New technology widens the scale and scope of people we can serve. Beyond providing more advanced treatment options, it also helps us expand clinical trials and attract the best and brightest minds to Richmond who want to help improve the health of cancer patients everywhere.”

Among the newly available technology in the building is an MRI-guided linear accelerator (MRI-LINAC), the only one between Pennsylvania and Florida. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) together with radiation therapy, this machine aims radiation at cancer tumors with pinpoint accuracy, sparing nearby healthy tissue. It allows VCU Massey Cancer Center providers to fine-tune a patient’s treatment plan, personalize, and adapt each treatment in ways they could not before.

VCU Health’s Adult Outpatient Pavilion is more than just a new building. It is designed to provide support and encouragement. Vibrant paintings line the wall, many created and donated by Richmond artist and VCU alum Baxter Perkinson, M.D. Waiting areas feature floor-to-ceiling windows. To further improve patient experience, unique structural design work allows radiation therapy to take place aboveground. Typically, cancer patients are treated in windowless basements to better contain radiation.

“This building literally and figuratively provides a brighter outlook for patients,” said Rudene Mercer Haynes, a VCU Massey Cancer Center Advisory Board member and cancer patient. “When I received my own diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer one year ago today, I found affirmation, reassurance and just sheer sanity from my care team at Massey. You understood that other aspects of a cancer patient’s life don’t stop with a diagnosis. This new pavilion provides patients areas for multitasking, and at the same time provides space for rest, reflection and mindfulness with enhanced privacy in treatment areas.”

Extended hours and weekend options for imaging services and medical infusion give patients greater flexibility and put VCU Health on track to conduct more than 1 million outpatient visits in fiscal year 2022, a potential new record for the health system.

The $384 million building is the second-largest capital investment in VCU’s history. It consolidates outpatient clinics previously housed in VCU Health’s Ambulatory Care Center, North Hospital and Nelson Clinic.

augusta free press
augusta free press