A $59 million state-of-the-art cancer center designed to serve patients throughout central and south San Diego County took a big step forward with a groundbreaking ceremony on the campus of Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego on Aug. 9.
The outpatient facility, to be known as Prebys Cancer Center, will offer a comprehensive range of cancer treatment and support services. The 40,000-square-foot, four-story center is named for the late Conrad Prebys, who in 2016 pledged a $20 million gift toward the facility and a $5 million gift for an endowed medical director position at Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center. The gifts and facility name were officially announced Aug. 9.
Prebys Cancer Center will be part of the Scripps MD Anderson partnership and will be located on Fifth Avenue on the campus of the main hospital in Hillcrest. The facility represents the first new construction in Scripps Mercy’s master redevelopment plan and is expected to be open for patient care in spring 2022.
Services at new center
Patients at Prebys Cancer Center will have access to leading-edge radiation therapy technology, including two TrueBeam linear accelerators, which deliver external beam radiation treatments with exceptional accuracy and speed.
Additionally, the facility will house a 20-chair infusion center, where chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and other treatments will be delivered. The new center also will include spaces for treatment planning conferences, patient exams and consultations, physician offices and patient support services. A new 140-space parking garage, expected to open in 2022, will adjoin the facility.
A healing environment
Prebys Cancer Center will feature design elements to help comfort and support patients, families and friends. These include floor-to-ceiling windows, nature-inspired artwork, and a “tree of hope” in the main lobby to symbolize strength and healing.
Plans also call for the facility’s second-floor infusion center to be surrounded by three rooftop terraces, which can be enjoyed from indoors through windows, or from various seating areas outdoors.
The general contractor for the new facility is Kitchell, and the architect is Mascari Warner Dinh Architects.
Prebys Cancer Center will be funded through a combination of philanthropy, borrowing and operating income.
“Prebys Cancer Center will complement our multidisciplinary team approach to cancer care, by bringing physicians, caregivers and services around the patient in a single location,” said Thomas Buchholz, MD, medical director of Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center and a Scripps Clinic radiation oncologist. “Offering a comprehensive scope of services in a single setting provides convenience for patients and their families, while also fostering strong collaboration and communication among the entire care team.” Dr. Buchholz also is the first recipient of a new endowed position, the Conrad Prebys Executive Medical Directorship, Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center, made possible through an endowment provided by Conrad Prebys.