According to the National Cancer Institute, 40% of Americans will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. Cancer’s prevalence and its impact on so many families in our community calls upon us to do more to up our game in the battle against the disease. With the opening of Ochsner Cancer Center – Baton Rouge and the expansion of the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center in New Orleans, we’re delivering new resources to benefit the thousands of patients who come to us for cancer treatment each year.
The opening of Ochsner Cancer Center – Baton Rouge significantly increased our capacity to treat patients in the Greater Baton Rouge Parish and surrounding areas. The new facility doubled the space dedicated to cancer services to 20,000 square feet, including 15 personalized and semi-private patient chemotherapy infusion stations. Multidisciplinary care is the foundation of Ochsner’s approach to cancer treatment, and the new center allows us to deliver the full array of diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities under one roof – close to where our patients live.
Since its opening in 2010, the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center has cared for patients from 49 states and 22 countries and has produced five-year survival rates for the four most common types of cancer – breast, colon, lung and prostate – that significantly surpass national averages. Gayle and Tom Benson provided the initial $5 million gift to establish the center, which was followed by their additional $20 million gift to fund a major expansion of the facility.
When complete in 2020, the $50 million project will add six stories and 115,000 square feet to the space, doubling the size of the Benson Cancer Center while adding capacity for 30 more physicians and allowing us to care for nearly 10,000 additional patients every year.
Notable features include 26 personalized and semi-private patient chemotherapy infusion stations as well as dedicated infusion and clinic spaces for bone marrow transplant patients. Innovative efforts like our Precision Cancer Therapies Program that targets treatments to the individual and our new genomics program that will be able to predict the likelihood of cancer based on genetics and family history will play a key role within the new facility.
In addition to more space and equipment, the project reinforces Ochsner’s commitment to collaborative, patient-centered care using the latest technology, innovative treatments and a compassionate, holistic approach. We focus on the whole patient, not just on treating the tumor. A patient wellness space will include areas dedicated to yoga, meditation, patient education and support groups, and access to services such as massage and acupuncture. It’s all in an effort to provide patients with a better experience and let them walk away a stronger person.