Building a Better Cancer Center

Cancer care is changing. And that’s why UVA Cancer Center is physically changing—ensuring that specialty care is wrapped around an individual and their family from the time they receive their diagnosis until they are back home in their communities, and beyond.

The Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center building opened eight years ago in the heart of the UVA Health complex. Thanks to generous philanthropic contributions, a shelled fourth floor was built to accommodate future growth. That growth has been incredible. In the last eight years, we saw a 118% increase in patients treated in the Couric building.

A visit to the Couric Center’s infusion center illustrates the impact of a growing patient volume. The center, which once treated 40 patients a day, now cares for more than 100 individuals seven days a week. The center is closed only on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The new space will increase capacity in the infusion center from 36 to 54 chairs. What’s more, the space has been designed with patients’ comfort in mind.

“We’re building a healing environment where patients can receive the care they need in a setting that will help them thrive,” says Veronica Brill, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, administrator of cancer services. “The ‘living rooms,’ as we are calling them, allow for four patients in a room. There’s a curtain you can pull for privacy, if you want, or you can talk to your neighbor in a space that is filled with natural light.”

The new infusion center will also allow UVA to administer some stem cell transplants on an outpatient basis. The expanded space will also increase the number of clinical trials offered to patients.

renderings of a new infusion space in the cancer center and a new balcony space
UVA Facilities Management

Other physical improvements to Couric include a staircase in the lobby to the second floor, moving the retail pharmacy to the first floor, and redesigning some clinics to make them more comfortable to patients.

Cancer care also happens beyond the walls of the Couric Center building. UVA Cancer Care Pantops, formerly known as the HOPE Cancer Center, in eastern Charlottesville will also be renovated. Patients will find everything they need in the redesigned space, including additional infusion bays and a bigger retail pharmacy.