Patient-centered outpatient cancer facility opens to ease cancer care journey

Entrance to the new outpatient cancer care center

There’s a feeling many people share when they enter the two-story, bright atrium at The James Outpatient Care, a freestanding cancer-focused outpatient facility from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). Shoulders straighten, and any knot in the stomach unwinds. The space feels like a deep breath of air.

This was one of the goals for the new outpatient cancer facility in Ohio State’s Carmenton innovation district, a new community on the university’s West Campus. While The James Outpatient Care may rank as the second-largest ambulatory building opening in the country this year at 385,000 square feet, nothing about the space is overwhelming.

“What's special about this outpatient facility is that it allows us to treat the right patient at the right place at the right time. We're so happy to be able to provide outpatient care services for patients’ cancer needs in one stop, from diagnosis to treatment and all the way through survivorship,” says David Cohn, MD, interim CEO for the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

“We’re hoping patients entering this building for the first time feel immediately relieved that they’re in the right place to take care of their cancer,” says Marie Webber, associate executive director for the OSUCCC – James.

Another primary goal is to give more cancer patients access to world-class cancer care. Normally, that care is found only at dedicated cancer hospitals like the OSUCCC – James. This new facility brings cancer care to an outpatient setting, making it easier for more patients to access the wide array of cancer care offered at the OSUCCC – James, plus some highly advanced new technology, including the region’s only proton therapy center.

Buckeye health care leaders and guests recently gathered to cut the ribbon on the new state-of-the-art center in the university’s Carmenton innovation district. The James Outpatient Care provides outpatient and surgical services to patients of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

Easing the burden of the cancer treatment journey

From simple access directly off the highway to convenient on-site parking, the new James Outpatient Care building is designed to make care as stress-free as possible. From the serene artwork that line the halls to the flood of natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows, The James Outpatient Care radiates a sense of healing and hope.

To simplify managing the full breadth of a patient’s care, the building was designed to house clinic appointments, radiation, chemotherapy, clinical trials, pharmacology and bloodwork in one facility.

Recovering at home is typically more comfortable than in-hospital stays, especially for patients who travel from farther locations in Ohio or in the region for care. Over 50% of surgical procedures at The James are outpatient, and the new outpatient center makes it easier for patients to access timely procedures, with eight operating rooms, robotic surgery capability, two interventional radiology suites and 12 extended recovery units.

Special emphasis on geriatric oncology

The James Outpatient Care features an expanded oncogeriatrics clinic of researchers, physicians and other allied health professionals who are experts in meeting the cancer needs of older adults. Cancer at an older age is complicated by comorbidities and natural aging that can affect functional status – like vision, balance, hearing and cognition.

In the multidisciplinary CARE - Cancer and Aging Resiliency clinic, geriatric patients undergo a comprehensive evaluation by a physician, physical therapist, dietitian, pharmacist, audiologist, social worker and a nurse trained in screening for cognitive changes. The patient is able to see all these experts in one visit reducing the need to travel to various locations and schedule multiple appointments. The care team can then identify and anticipate challenges in cancer treatment at the forefront, connecting patients to necessary interventions to support their overall well-being.

“Aging adults have unique needs when it comes to cancer management. In the CARE Clinic we take a comprehensive approach to uncover and address these concerns. We see people at all different stages on their cancer journey and develop individualized care plans to meet their goals and help them be successful on this journey,” says Erin Stevens, DO, a geriatrician and palliative care specialist at the James who co-directs the CARE clinic.

“The CARE clinic is a unique, innovative model to shape care delivery for the future,” says oncogeriatrics Medical Director, Ashley Rosko, MD. “As a team, our multidisciplinary group consolidates visits for the patient and family to optimize care, comprehensively, as part of routine oncology care. We are able to identify what matters most for patients with their cancer diagnosis and enhance independence, function and overall quality of living with cancer.”

Annie Trance, administrator for cancer support services, attributes Ohio State’s leadership in oncogeriatrics to three areas: “We have the expertise combined with the growing body of research that shows the cancer needs of older adults. And then we have leaders with our patients’ interests at the core of everything we do.”

Sixth floor reception area with a sign for the CARE clinic

Extra care at every step

From registration to follow-up, patients get extra care and concern at every stage of the journey. Upon entering, patients are led immediately to a private room for personalized consultations rather than a public registration desk.

“This encounter isn’t just transactional. We want to give patients a sense of trust, safety and respect right from the start,” says Kristin Thatcher, senior director of patient access and guest services.

“The interpersonal touches we add to the experience of entering The James Outpatient Care give patients that feeling of warmth. We want you to know you’re in the right place and where you need to go next in your journey,” Webber says.

Having an outpatient facility entirely dedicated to cancer care means patients and their families can expect a staff that understand the emotional and well-being needs of cancer patients.

“Our staff is always in the mindset of knowing what this person's going through and ready to offer a higher level of empathy for our specific patient population,” Webber says.
Former cancer patient holding a part of the red ribbon at the opening ceremony
LaQuinta Haynes attends the grand opening of the James Outpatient Care. Haynes was treated at The James for osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer.

Enhancing cancer research, innovation and technology

The James Outpatient Care expands Ohio State’s cancer research and innovation capabilities through technology and collaboration.

As a research cancer hospital, physicians at The James are committed to treating cancer as well as learning and developing new forms of treatment via clinical trials. The Clinical Trials Treatment Unit located on the entire seventh floor of the building provides physician-scientists with the ability to expand research capabilities. This integration of clinical and research departments gives patients direct access to clinical trial opportunities tailored to their type of cancer.

“There’s a sense of energy, trust and comfort among multidisciplinary departments in knowing that we're all on this together,” Thatcher says.

The James Outpatient Care houses the region’s first proton therapy center, housing an advanced cancer treatment that precisely targets tumor cells while preserving nearby healthy cells. This center, serving pediatric patients through adults in collaboration with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, is the first of its kind in central Ohio. It allows patients of all ages to access the latest radiotherapy in a facility close to home. The proton center will open in fall 2023.

Leaders of The James are enthusiastic about the potential for transforming care at their new cancer-focused outpatient facility.

“Our cancer program is the model for specialized, multidisciplinary team care, and this facility is specifically designed to enhance collaboration,” says David Cohn, MD, interim CEO for the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

“That’s the only way we move science forward to cures.”

Top of the building with the sun reflected in the windows

Accurate, early cancer diagnosis matters

The James Cancer Diagnostic Center gives patients direct, expedited access to diagnostic testing and consultation with Ohio State cancer experts. Think you have cancer?

Schedule an appointment today


Related websites

Subscribe. The latest from Ohio State Health & Discovery delivered right to your inbox.


Get articles and stories about health, wellness, medicine, science and education delivered right to your inbox from the experts at Ohio State.

Required fields

Tell us more about yourself

By clicking "Subscribe" you agree to our Terms of Use.
Learn more about how we use your information by reading our Privacy Policy.