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Upstate Medical University formally opens new Cancer Center

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University on Friday formally opened its new Cancer Center.

The Cancer Center sits adjacent to Upstate University Hospital at 750 E. Adams St. in Syracuse.

The $74 million, 90,000-square-foot facility occupies three of the five floors in the new facility. The total cost for the entire five-story building is $100 million, Upstate said.

The building includes two additional floors to accommodate future expansion, according to the school.

The Upstate Cancer Center is a “dream fulfilled,” said Dr. Leslie Kohman, medical director of the Upstate Cancer Center.

She spoke with reporters during a facility tour that preceded the 10 a.m. formal opening.

Upstate’s cancer-treatment specialists and technology were previously “scattered” throughout the campus in four or five different buildings, but now, they’re in the same location, said Kohman.

 “If a patient needs to come and visit their medical oncologist and surgeon, they can do it all on the same day in the same visit in the same building,” Kohman said.

Upstate is financing the cost of the Cancer Center construction through bonds that facility-generated revenue will repay, the school said.

The Foundation for Upstate coordinated a capital campaign called “Give Hope a New Home,” which raised more than $17.4 million from gifts and pledges for some construction costs, equipment and patient amenities, and endowments, according to Upstate.

“This building will see people from the Canadian border to the Pennsylvania border to Albany to Rochester,” said Dr. John McCabe, CEO of Upstate University Hospital.

Upstate will also train the doctors who will care for cancer patients in the future, McCabe added.

The Cancer Center features 27 infusion chairs, four linear accelerator vaults for radiation therapy, and a high-tech intraoperative suite, which includes a 3T MRI.

The facility also includes a four-season rooftop healing garden; meditation room; family-resource center; multidisciplinary-practice locations; and private space for genetic, financial, and nutrition-counseling services, according to Upstate.

The Cancer Center also houses many of Upstate’s outpatient-cancer services, such as the Dr. William J. Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders.

The facility also features new technology for treating the condition. Staff will use the Vero SBRT (Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy System) for advanced treatment of lung, liver, and prostate cancer.

Upstate is one of three institutions nationwide offering the combination of advanced treatment and imaging technologies, the school said.

Contractors for the projects included Rochester–based LeChase Construction Services, LLC; Syracuse–based Hueber-Breuer Construction Co., Inc.; and several others.

Philadelphia–based EwingCole designed the center, which is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification at the silver level from the U.S. Green Building Council, according to Upstate.

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