Cancer Care Redefined: Memorial Sloan Kettering Unveils New Nassau County Site


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) announced its recommitment to communities across Long Island today with the dedication of MSK Nassau, a light-filled 114,000-square-foot outpatient cancer treatment facility centrally located along Hempstead Turnpike. MSK’s newest location, and its third on Long Island, will open for patient care on April 8 with more than 180 dedicated medical and professional staff, all of whom are MSK employees.  

All of the patient care staff and services from MSK Rockville Centre, which has been open since 1997 on Mercy Medical Center’s campus, will relocate roughly four miles northeast to the new and much larger facility.

“MSK Nassau represents the future of cancer care for Long Island,” said Craig B. Thompson, MD, President and CEO of MSK. “This state-of-the-art freestanding facility exemplifies the spirit of MSK and the expertise of our caregivers, and we believe that patients will find it warm and welcoming. We’re honored to be part of the Uniondale community, and thank our neighbors for their enthusiastic support.”

“Our commitment to delivering the best cancer care and experience remains steadfast,” said Lisa DeAngelis, MD, Acting Physician-in-Chief of Memorial Hospital. “Our ability as a team to offer our patients a personalized treatment plan, coupled with robust and efficient testing and care that is compassionate and near the comfort and familiarity of their homes, is the experience we’ll strive for each day at MSK Nassau.”

Our Dedication to Patient Care  

People who come to MSK Nassau for treatment will experience the same level of exceptional care and expertise they have come to expect from Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan. Patients will be cared for by MSK physicians, including leading cancer surgeons with on-site office hours, allowing patients to complete much of their presurgery testing locally, in addition to postsurgery visits, eliminating the need for additional travel into Manhattan.

Almost every aspect of outpatient cancer care will be available at MSK Nassau, including infusion services (chemotherapy and blood transfusions), medical oncology, radiation therapy, radiology and imaging services, screening services (including mammography), personalized medicine, genetic testing, support counseling, and follow-up care. MSK Nassau also features a full-size rehabilitation suite, a first for MSK on Long Island. Here, patients can take advantage of the services provided by the on-site rehabilitation team, including physical and occupational therapists and a rehabilitation physician. Located on the second floor, the gym features the latest equipment and offers private rooms for lymphedema treatment.

Patients will also have access to MSK’s robust clinical trials program, including early-stage studies of novel targeted anticancer drugs. “Research is integral to our mission, and clinical trials help us discover better forms of patient care and treatment,” said Oren Cahlon, MD, Associate Deputy Physician-in-Chief of MSK’s Regional Care Network and Vice Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. “Today, clinical trials often offer the most-promising and innovative treatments for patients. We are thrilled that MSK Nassau patients will have access to our unparalleled clinical trial portfolio.”

At MSK Nassau, Disease Management Teams made up of medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists will care for patients. This approach allows physicians to stay fluid and tailor care to patients’ unique needs. This model also helps set apart MSK since the combined expertise of the entire MSK care team includes decades of successfully treating people with cancer.

MSK Nassau also houses — under one roof — the most-innovative technologies available to help diagnose, monitor, and treat cancer, including highly sensitive imaging tests, such as PET, CT, MRI, and ultrasound; precise tools used to deliver radiation therapy; the most-advanced pathology testing, including the latest molecular diagnostics for personalized medicine; and immunotherapy, a field of significant importance in cancer treatment today.

From inception through construction, MSK Nassau’s planning, architecture, and interior design have been inextricably linked, resulting in a place that is effortlessly elegant.

Throughout the center, modern finishes and technology are interspersed to complement a physical layout that’s both easily navigable and spacious. In addition to complimentary Wi-Fi and a first-floor café, “the spaces evoke the comfort and scale of a gracious residence,” said Suzen Heeley, Executive Director of MSK’s Design and Construction Department. “Each distinct area, like the common rooms and infusion suite, mimic the characteristics of different rooms in a home, such as a den or library.” Amenities in the infusion suite, where chemotherapy is delivered, include chair-side technology (commonly referred to as TVR), which gives patients ultimate control over the lighting and temperature in their area, in addition to access to cable TV, Internet, and educational videos produced by MSK experts from departments including Integrative Medicine, Nutrition, Nursing, and others. The first- and second-floor waiting areas feature floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light, game tables, and private seating, in addition to carefully curated artwork, some of which depicts Long Island landscapes and covers entire walls. MSK Nassau also features a community art gallery, with artwork on loan from local Long Island artists.

“MSK Nassau merges world-class medicine with compassionate, personalized care all into one location that is both nearby and familiar,” said Pamela Drullinsky, MD, Regional Care Network Medical Site Director of MSK Nassau.


Collaboration with the Community

MSK will continue its commitment to work alongside local community organizations to address cancer-related health needs through outreach, education, and various health advocacy initiatives. Patients, community members, and those interested in cancer education and prevention can participate in special on-site events held throughout the year, including a free farmers market and nutrition workshop on April 24, hosted by MSK’s Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service, with presentations from MSK’s Food and Nutrition Service staff and the MSK Nassau social work team.

“Collaboration is a hallmark of MSK, both inside these walls and out,” said Dr. Drullinsky. “And as our understanding of cancer continues to evolve, creating change in the way we care for and treat people living with this disease, we want to be able to share our knowledge and raise awareness within the communities we serve. We look forward to this and are grateful to be part of the greater Uniondale community.”

MSK Nassau at a Glance

  • Two-story, 114,000-square-foot clinical program at opening, with shell space for future growth
  • 180-plus medical and support staff at opening, with additional recruitment to take place
  • More than 20 doctors whose sole focus is treating cancer, including physicians and surgeons specializing in breast (including plastics and reconstruction), gynecologic, urologic, genitourinary, gastrointestinal, thoracic, and head and neck cancers, as well as orthopedics, lymphoma, and myeloma (bone marrow transplant consultations)
  • 38 state-of-the-art exam-consult rooms
  • 26 private infusion rooms
  • Four treatment rooms for outpatient procedures, including prostate biopsies, cystoscopies, colposcopies, excision, suture or drain removal, and punch biopsy
  • Three linear accelerators to deliver radiation therapy
  • A Symptom Care Clinic for patients experiencing illness outside of their scheduled appointments
  • An on-site rapid-response lab for blood and specimen processing
  • An on-site infusion pharmacy
  • Telemedicine for genetics, psychiatry counseling, and supportive care, with additional services to be added
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi and an on-site café
  • Conference space for community use
  • The FOOD program, a unique hospital-based pantry program designed to address food insecurity among people with cancer who are in active treatment
  • 450-spot attached parking garage and complimentary valet
  • $180-plus million investment
  • Lead architect: Ewing Cole
  • Construction firm: Hunter Roberts
  • Designed to meet the US Green Building Council’s LEED certification
  • Time to completion: approximately 28 months