Gov. Perdue, Emory President Wagner Join in Winship Cancer Institute
ATLANTA Governor Sonny Perdue and Emory University President James
Wagner will join patients and faculty in formally dedicating Emory's
new Winship Cancer Institute today at 2 p.m. The ceremony will be held
outdoors in front of the 280,000-square-foot building, which boasts
research laboratories as long as football fields along with the most
up-to-date facilities for cancer treatment. Tours and light refreshments
will follow the dedication and ribbon cutting.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Georgia, where each year,
34,000 people are diagnosed with cancer and 14,000 die from cancer-related
illness. The Winship Cancer Institute, combining research, education
and patient care as an arm of the Emory University School of Medicine
and Emory Healthcare, recently received a $1.9 million planning grant
from the National Cancer Institute as it seeks to qualify for designation
as the first NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center in Georgia.
WCI researchers and physicians work closely with colleagues at the AFLAC
Cancer Center in Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and the Georgia Cancer
Center of Excellence at Grady Memorial Hospital, as well as with Emory’s
Rollins School of Public Health, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
and other scholars and clinicians associated with the Georgia Cancer
Coalition throughout the state.
"This magnificent new building is truly a discovery accelerator, where
we can nurture and support the most advanced cancer research at Emory
and focus it like a laser beam on the care and treatment of our patients,"
said Michael M.E. Johns, MD, executive vice president for health affairs
at Emory University and CEO of Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center.
"This building reflects Emory’s commitment of energy and resources to
improving cancer diagnosis, prevention, and treatment for all Georgians,"
said Jonathan Simons, MD, director of the Winship Cancer Institute.
"Our building is a place where care of cancer patients is advanced through
groundbreaking discoveries in genomics and molecular medicine. It will
be the gateway to cancer care at Emory; however, the impact of the building
will go far beyond the Emory campus."
The origins of the Winship Cancer Institute (WCI) date to 1937 when
Coca-Cola President and Chairman Robert W. Woodruff partnered with the
Emory University School of Medicine to establish one of the first clinics
in the nation devoted entirely to the care of cancer patients. Today,
with the dedication of the new building, Mr. Woodruff’s vision for a
comprehensive cancer treatment, research and medical training facility
has been fully realized.
The new building, located just off Clifton Road near The Emory Clinic,
houses basic science research and clinical cancer care services under
one roof—just as Mr. Woodruff envisioned more than 66 years ago. "We
have designed the new Winship Cancer Institute as a pavilion," says
Dr. Simons. "It is a place in which patients with cancer, their families,
physicians, nurses, and researchers are all brought together under one
The building comprises seven floors—two below grade and five above.
Research labs occupy the top three levels of the building. The lower
four levels are dedicated to the treatment and care of cancer patients.
The Radiation Oncology and Imaging Department is housed on the bottom,
or Tunnel Level. The next floor up is the Plaza Level, which houses
WCI’s new Ambulatory Infusion Center and Bone Marrow Transplant/Hematology/Leukemia
Above the Plaza Level the main entrance, or Level One, which holds the
Breast Imaging Center, a nondenominational chapel, the Family Resource
Center, WCI financial counseling, and a café.
Medical and Surgical Oncology occupy Level Two in the new building.
There are 34 regular exam rooms and four minor procedure rooms. The
private minor procedure rooms offer individuals receiving outpatient
services relief from traveling to the hospital or ambulatory surgery
Patients’ needs were primary considerations in designing treatment facilities
such as the Ambulatory Infusion Center. Earlier this year, designers
chose three options for ambulatory infusion chairs and solicited feedback
from patients about which chair was best, then chose the chair that
received the most votes from patients.
But along with the unprecedented level of attention to patient amenities
comes a new level of research infrastructure and support for Emory's
cancer researchers. "We have witnessed some remarkable accomplishments
since Jonathan Simons was recruited here three years ago from Johns
Hopkins," said Emory University School of Medicine Dean Thomas J. Lawley.
"In that short time, 25 new Emory and Winship faculty members, many
of whom have been designated as Distinguished Physicians and Scientists
by the Georgia Cancer Coalition, have brought nearly $45 million in
federal and foundation grant money to Georgia for cancer research. Also
in that time, 19 new clinical trials have been made available at Emory
to cancer patients. We're excited by what we have been able to achieve
and optimistic about what we can still accomplish with the resources
made available to us in this wonderful new facility."