Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Opens New Chemotherapy Clinic

May 11, 2009

Cancer patients at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center now have expanded access to chemotherapy services at the Cancer Center. The Vanderbilt-Ingram Chemotherapy Infusion Clinic has moved to renovated space on the second floor of The Vanderbilt Clinic.

The new clinic has been in the planning and development stage for more than two years. Several committees, comprised of patients, caregivers, staff and administrators, evaluated a multitude of design issues, such as colors, furniture and other aesthetic and functional features.

The first priority was more space, including nearly twice the number of chemotherapy chairs.

“Demand for chemotherapy services is so intense that, in addition to our existing 23 treatment rooms, we recently put up curtains in our waiting room to create three additional treatment bays,” said Leah Atwell, manager of Patient Care Services for Vanderbilt-Ingram. “We are thankful that our patients have been so gracious and understanding while we have been building the new clinic.”

The new clinic will include 45 treatment chairs, all located in individual rooms instead of the communal areas with privacy curtains in the current clinic. Thirty of the rooms are now operational and other rooms will be opened as demand increases. The additional patient rooms will shorten the length of time patients wait before being placed in a room.

The staff and patients spent months trying to decide what kind of chemotherapy chairs to order, since patients can spend hours sitting while they receive their chemotherapy medications. The new chairs are more comfortable and user-friendly.

Each room features a flat screen TV with built-in DVD player and rooms have a glass feature over the doorway with natural grass imposed into the glass. The new waiting area is more spacious and comfortable and there is a family break/vending room where families and patients can relax and eat. There also is a full wig fitting room and an area for volunteers to work with patients and their families.

Best of all, the whole space is brighter and more welcoming.

“A majority of the patient rooms, as well as the waiting area, will have windows that offer natural lighting and some even provide a picturesque view,” said Atwell. “We know that natural light makes patients and visitors feel better and it was important that the new space be bright and cheerful.”

Staff members also will benefit from the design of the new facility. Updated equipment and larger spaces will allow the staff to be more efficient in providing care to patients. That includes staff members in the Oncology Pharmacy, which will be moving into a spacious new lab.

The new chemotherapy clinic was financed through university funding and the generous support of Vanderbilt-Ingram donors.

The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of two centers in Tennessee and 40 in the country to earn this highest distinction. Its nearly 300 faculty members generate more than $140 million in annual federal research funding, ranking it among the top 10 centers in the country in competitive grant support, and its clinical program sees approximately 4,000 new cancer patients each year. Vanderbilt-Ingram, based in Nashville, Tenn., recently joined with 21 of the world’s leading centers in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a non-profit alliance dedicated to improving cancer care for patients everywhere. For more information, visit www.vicc.org.
Media Inquiries:
Dagny Stuart McMillin
Information and Media Relations Officer
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Phone: 615-322-4747
Email: dagny.stuart@vanderbilt.edu

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