“Ideally, no one would have cancer”
The AHN Cancer Institute has embarked on a strategy to construct a network of new cancer centers throughout the region to bring cancer care to the communities it serves. At Allegheny General Hospital, the AHN Cancer Institute sought to create a new home for its academic cancer program. A home that would represent a world-class clinical program in a caring setting at its historic location. It speaks of AHN’s dedication to its community that they chose to locate this structure in its historic location on the AGH campus, despite the difficulties and complexities of construction on a dense urban site. While AHN has committed itself to fostering community throughout its network of community hospitals, it is especially dedicated to its historic home at Allegheny General Hospital on the north side. Through engagement with local community groups and neighborhood leadership, AGH created a new image for itself on North Avenue: one that made a clear statement that this is an institution of clinical excellence as well as compassionate care.
The infusion center is the heart of patient care in the facility. Each infusion station is private and designed from the patient’s perspective: bookshelves for magazines and literature are within reach, a padded bench is provided for visitors to pass the hours with the patient, lighting is individually controlled. All patient stations are within visual range of the nurse station.
An “infusion lounge” is provided which allows patients to socialize in a safe, monitored light-filled space with soft seating and a view to the park. The interior design was geared toward providing comfortable spaces to lend a sense of security and calmness. The caregivers who work in the facility are passionate about their work and the service that they provide their patients. Their desire was for the building to be an energetic symbol of hope: a dynamic reminder that there is a life above and beyond this illness. They wanted this facility to speak of hope and joy.