SWISStrong 5/24/17: Sparrow Cancer Center

If you've driven by Sparrow Hospital in Lansing lately, you've seen the steady progress of the new Herbert-Herman Cancer Center. In this month's SWISStrong report, you'll get a view of the cancer center you've never seen before... the inside.

It takes a bit of imagination...

It's not bad, a little dusty..."

But it won't be long until these concepts are reality here at Sparrow.

"These are luxurious compared to what we have now."

This new cancer center nearly doubles the footprint of the current cancer center.

"People aren't sitting knee to knee, shoulder to shoulder any more."

And every last inch was designed with patients in mind.

"Our pyramid, no matter who's under the pyramid, it's the patient at the top."

You'll notice it from the moment you step out of your car. From the heated sidewalks outside the building, to a designated 600-space parking ramp with direct access to each floor.

"We're accommodating the patient right from the get go."

Walk through the lobby and you'll see a series of art installations -- a 20-foot bronze sculpture outside, a 100-piece hanging glass sculpture inside and a decorative LED panel that changes colors for cancer awareness.

"We'll have a lot of things going on in this lobby, that are kind of positive distractions for the patients when they arrive in the building.  Give them something else to think about, other than the reason they're here."

Patients will now have a separate gowned waiting area, which will feel much more like a lounge than a hospital.

"You can see the cut out for the fireplace coming in there."

Patient rooms are also changing.  Private rooms are now split in half -- half for exams, the other for consultations. So no more walking around in a hospital gown.

"The patient will be there, and we're all going to come to them, so that's the emphasis of the center."

The cancer center is also taking a multi-disciplinary approach to care. Meaning doctors of every specialty will meet in this conference room -- to collaborate on treatment plans "a clear plan is really what most people want." Even consulting with mayo clinic experts virtually giving patients an instant second opinion.

"What we're trying to create at sparrow, in partnership with mayo, is that ability to have whatever resources that patient needs right here, so that they can actually sleep in their own beds at night."

That includes -- state of the art technology... Like these three linear accelerators... Which deliver radiation precisely where it's needed... "this versa is a top of the line, electo-machine in the country."

While sparing healthy tissue -- in a room that's less intimidating with wood detailing, customizable ambient lighting and TV monitors.

"We really wanted to kind of warm the room right up from a patient's perspective, make it a little more calming to come in for treatment."

If you're one of the 1,500 patients who rely on Sparrow for chemotherapy treatment and infusions each year - that area is getting a makeover too.

"Just be careful of the cord coming down here."

The center features 40 semi-private infusion bays, overlooking a rooftop garden.

"We have these partial height walls, that will get filled in with a textured glass."

And a private infusion area, for patients who aren't feeling well.

"The building is super, but it's also the programs, because that's really what a cancer center is, it's not only the building, it's the programs."

The Herbert-Herman Cancer Center will have space for clinical trials, genetic counseling, a chemotherapy pharmacy, resource center, hair and breast prosthetics salon, and so much more.

"We're utilizing everything we can for patients in the Mid-Michigan area, so that they get to stay in town, and not feel like they're not getting the best of anything available in the country."

And you won't have to wait much longer to see it.

Sparrow will be hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 11th and the center will officially open to patients the following week on July 17th.