Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Cancer Institute Master Plan
An extended investment
A 20 percent jump in cancer cases between 2014 and 2016 led Sarasota Memorial Health Care System (SMHCS) to reflect on the continuum of oncologic services it provides to the local community. The outcome was to invest in the creation of a destination program that provided true cancer care, not just cancer treatment. To do this they knew they had to do four things:
- Provide services across the continuum of cancer care
- Engage a multidisciplinary team to create comprehensive care plans
- Establish evidence-based care pathways for improved patient outcomes
- Create a seamless experience for patients and families
In a competitive local environment for cancer care, SMHCS knew it needed a partner to turn its strategy into an action plan: A teammate willing to listen and translate the desired service offerings into a program of spaces and an execution plan within its campus. Ultimately, SMHCS turned to Flad to help determine the precise site of a planned comprehensive oncology center and the extent of space needed to turn the vision into reality.
Like many constricted urban sites, the SMH main hospital campus is loaded with utilities and infrastructure, but is also surrounded by an upscale residential neighborhood. At the onset of the study, the team worked with leadership to identify their top priorities:
- Identifiable "front door" for the cancer program
- One stop for all cancer services: comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up services provided in one place
- Easy access to parking and to the facility for improved patient/family wayfinding and experience
- Connectivity to existing clinical services and infrastructure on the main campus, to ensure continuity of care and service quality.
Flad's team of programming, cancer planning, and site analysis strategists gathered with Sarasota's executive committee for an intensive period of meetings comprising individual interviews, surveys, and the collection and examination of relevant data.
On the clinical side, the team discussed and challenged the hospital system's vision and goals. Flad worked to understand and identify the services that would support the program, and confirmed volumes and utilization rates the system was benchmarking against – to provide the correct quantity and mixture of spaces to reflect their goals, without overbuilding. This information gathered on the clinical side determined a building size, which in parallel was moving forward in establishing criteria in the setting of site-selection priorities. The site selection process and study included zoning analysis, visibility studies, inpatient and surgical connectivity reviews and infrastructure opportunities that helped identify areas of future growth and of high visual impact. As information was gathered and refined, 13 potential sites emerged, and each was evaluated according to a matrix developed by the design team and owner. The final ranking of possible sites allowed the top three to be better compared against each other, which included deeper analysis resulting in a final recommendation to be made to hospital leadership and board of directors.
The recommendation for the selected location met the system's primary goals. Situated by the hospital's Waldemere Street main entrance and front door, the nine-story Sarasota Memorial Institute for Cancer Care holds a prominent spot on the campus green. The ease of access for patients is convenient both from vehicular drop-off areas and parking, and along with improving wayfinding and experience, its connection to the clinical services allows for future growth of the cancer center internally into connected structures.
Flad has since been selected to program and design the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Radiation Oncology Center and Sarasota Memorial Hospital Oncology Inpatient and Surgical Tower.