John Theurer Cancer Center unveils new $130M, 155,000-square-foot comprehensive facility

The John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center unveiled a new $130-million, 155,000-square-foot comprehensive cancer facility that will enhance the cancer center's ability to deliver multidisciplinary extraordinary care, best-in-class clinical quality, and cutting-edge research. The doors will open for patients in January 2011.

"The new John Theurer Cancer Center reflects Hackensack University Medical Center's dedication to providing exceptional care. It marks a new leap forward for our renowned cancer treatment program – already in the top 10 largest cancer centers in the nation," said Robert C. Garrett of Morris Township, president and chief executive officer of Hackensack University Medical Center. "The center is focused on both care and research. Thanks to Helena Theurer's generosity, our extraordinary team of physicians, nurses, and support staff will be together in our new state-of-the-art building. Our new facility will allow us to accomplish even more and give every cancer patient what they need most – hope."

The cancer center building will bring the John Theurer Cancer Center's 14 specialized divisions together with research and auxiliary oncology services, including nutrition counseling, psychosocial support, and complementary therapies, under one roof. This will encourage collaboration among physicians and staff to practice a multidisciplinary approach. Physicians can come together easily to prepare the best treatment plan for every patient.

"Over the past 25 years, we have become one of the largest cancer centers in the United States. This new facility will help us build on our promise to deliver extraordinary care by providing patients with an unparalleled experience through innovative approaches in comfortable surroundings," said Andrew L. Pecora, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.P.E., chief innovations officer and professor and vice president of cancer services, John Theurer Cancer Center.

For the past three years, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation has been working tirelessly and has raised $65 million for the cancer center through the Beyond Extraordinary Campaign.

"The cancer center would not be possible without the generous donation of $10 million from Helena Theurer, who made the donation in memory of her husband John Theurer. Contributions of $10 million or more are at the threshold of the most significant gifts being made in American philanthropy. Mrs. Theurer's extraordinary gift, along with the many others who have contributed, will benefit all of the community who relies upon us to provide quality healthcare," said Robert L. Torre of Hackensack, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation.

"We are grateful that Mrs. Theurer put her faith and trust in the vision and commitment of the John Theurer Cancer Center to build one of the top cancer centers in the country," said Joseph Simunovich, chairman of the Foundation's Board of Trustees. "Patients and their families know that when they come to our center they are going to receive nothing short of excellent and quality services. We are one of the best in the country thanks to the extraordinary vision and talent of an exceptional healthcare team."

"Millions of people are touched by cancer every day. I am proud to be a part of the effort to build one of the finest cancer centers in the country," said Mrs. Theurer. "The care and research provided at this comprehensive cancer center will help so many in our community and throughout the country."

The John Theurer Cancer Center is New Jersey's largest and most comprehensive center, as well as one of the 10 largest centers in the United States, dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, and preventive care of patients with all types of cancer.

"This is an important milestone in our efforts to improve cancer care," said Joseph M. Sanzari, chairman of the Board of Governors at Hackensack University Medical Center. "We remain committed to supporting the John Theurer Cancer Center's mission to provide extraordinary cancer care.


Cancer is hard enough for patients and their loved ones. To help make cancer care a little easier, the new building has been specially designed to be an oasis for patients and caregivers and also includes resources to help them focus on their lives. This reflects the essential trends of patient – and family-centered care practiced at the country's best cancer centers.

The sun-drenched, four-story lobby atrium features one of the first Living Walls installed in a United States hospital. Accompanied by a 24-foot waterfall, the inspiring Living Wall is made of more than 30 plant species, all hydroponically growing without soil. Not only aesthetically beautiful, the wall breaks down indoor air contaminates through entirely natural processes, releasing purer, cleaner air.

"Our ultimate goal in designing this new building was to echo the sentiment of all who work at the John Theurer Cancer Center – to personalize treatment so that all of our patients have the best possible experience," said Andre Goy, M.D., M.S., deputy director and chief of lymphoma of the John Theurer Cancer Center.

The cancer center is replete with activities to comfort patients, including views of the New York City skyline, a flight of soaring Murano glass-blown birds suspended from the lobby ceiling, terraces with walking gardens, and tranquility rooms. The facility will also have amenities to allow patients and caregivers to continue living productive, normal lives during treatment, such as a business center/patient library, cyber cafe and fitness center. In addition, the on-site demonstration kitchen will offer a unique, hands-on approach to help patients learn how to manage their appetite while undergoing therapy.

The new building will also allow the John Theurer Cancer Center to expand its commitment to research and innovation. Breakthrough advances being pioneered in this new facility will include a dedicated Phase 1 Unit, tumor banking to help development of biomarkers as part of the cancer center's clinical trials, new modalities of delivery of radiation, and future molecular imaging technology.

"This building will allow our team to further support the development of innovative therapies to improve outcomes in an inspiring environment that enables our patients and caregivers to continue living a normal life," said Dr. Goy. "Cancer is hard enough. This is one way we hope to make it a little easier for patients and their loved ones."


The John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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