Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Design takes center stage at architectural meeting
by WES MAYER
The American Architectural Foundation Board of Regents met at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America hospital in Newnan this week to discuss the future architectural developments of the hospital.
David Huey, who acted as principal-in-charge of design of CTCA’s Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Newnan, and Michael White, the senior vice president of national construction at CTCA, presented powerpoint presentations to the architectural panel.
Stephen Bonner, president and CEO of CTCA; Anne Meisner, president and CEO of the Southeastern Regional Medical Center; and Newnan Mayor Keith Brady introduced the presentations and were available to answer panel members’ questions.
The discussion began with an overview of the national development of CTCA and an analysis of the Newnan cancer treatment center’s growth since it was built last May. Mayor Brady discussed how the center has helped Newnan grow by providing around 500 new jobs and bringing nearly $500 million to the city.
Location of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America regional hospital in Newnan “is a generational event,” Brady said. “It impacts generations to come. Not only economically, but with new ideas that are critical to any forward-thinking community.”
Huey’s presentation discussed the importance of the treatment center’s architecture and designs.
The building is designed in every possible way to be a welcoming and comforting experience to the patients who visit. The Newnan CTCA was the fifth treatment center constructed, and it took most of its design from the previous centers across the nation.
The interior is tailored to reduce stress visually for the patients, according to Huey. The rooms and hallways are given warm finishes, are larger than most hospital rooms and are built with numerous windows to promote natural light and healing. Outside, nature settings such as the swan pond and koi pond can be visited by patients. Even the building itself is designed to represent open arms with its angled wings.
Most importantly, the Newnan CTCA hospital was built with expansion in mind. In the next few years, the treatment center can expand one floor vertically and expand horizontally in a few other areas, increasing its size from 233,000 square feet to nearly 600,000 square feet. According to Huey, all construction can be completed without disturbing patients.
White’s presentation discussed the construction process of the Newnan treatment center. White attributed the success of the project to the usage of GPS technology and the combined efforts of two construction companies, Western-based Okland Construction and local Batson-Cook Construction. This allowed the center to be completed in 55 weeks.
“Our philosophy is on time and under budget,” White said.
In between presentations, questions were asked regarding the operation of the center.
According to Bonner, CTCA receives 600 new patients each month and its website has one million unique visitors each month. At the Newnan center, 80 percent of the patients are outpatient, while inpatient visitors stay for an average of 5.8 to 6.1 days. Medical employees at the center typically meet with about two new patients for every 10 repeat patients. Bonner also said that the revenue per patient is enough for the center to remain sustainable.
Questions were also asked about the importance of the center’s design, for both patients and employees. According to Meisner, all employees enjoy the building’s design because of their ease of access to one another. She said that because of a decentralized model and the larger open spaces, there is a better communication flow between nurses, doctors, surgeons, etc., which no employees have complained about.
According to Meisner and Bonner, patients have had a better therapeutic experience from the design, and the natural lighting has had some proof, both scientifically and anecdotally, that it improves the healing process. Everything from the building’s architecture to the round shape of the tables is designed to improve the patients’ experiences.
“We have tried to create a community that supports one another,” Meisner said.