After more than two decades of providing outstanding cancer care to the people of New Jersey, Memorial Sloan Kettering announced today that its newest outpatient treatment center, in Bergen County, will welcome new patients in the coming weeks. In recognition of its debut, MSK’s leadership, joined by members of the community and local elected officials, gathered at the Montvale site to unveil MSK Bergen, a sleek, modern, technology-filled 110,000-plus-square-foot clinical program located on Summit Avenue, mere minutes from the Garden State Parkway.
MSK Bergen is MSK’s third wholly owned and operated location in New Jersey (joining facilities in Somerset and Monmouth counties) and its seventh outpatient treatment center outside of New York City.
“We are tremendously proud of the program we’ve built in Montvale,” said Craig B. Thompson, MD, MSK President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re also appreciative of the warm welcome we’ve received from the county, the town of Montvale, and the surrounding communities, and we look forward to welcoming patients to this new facility.”
MSK’s Team Approach to Care
People who come to MSK Bergen for treatment will experience the same level of exceptional care and expertise they have come to expect from Memorial Sloan Kettering. MSK doctors, many of whom call northern New Jersey home, will care for patients in Montvale, many in addition to their long-standing clinics in Manhattan. This includes leading cancer surgeons who will offer patients easily accessible office hours in Montvale.
“Delivering the same high caliber of care and experience to patients in the community continues to be an institution-wide focus and commitment,” said José Baselga, MD, PhD, MSK Physician-In-Chief. “Our ability as a team to offer our patients a personalized treatment plan, coupled with robust and efficient testing and care that is compassionate, near the comfort and familiarity of the patient’s home is the experience we’ll strive for each day at MSK Bergen.”
Multiple innovative initiatives and programs will be housed at MSK Bergen, ensuring the highest level of expertise and care. Disease Management Teams comprised of medical, surgical, radiation, and neuro oncologists allow doctors to stay fluid and tailor care to the unique needs of the patient. This model helps set MSK apart because of the deep expertise of the entire MSK team, which, when combined, has decades of experience successfully treating people with cancer, all while keeping patients’ best interests top of mind.
Services addressing almost every aspect of cancer care will be available at MSK Bergen, including chemotherapy and medical oncology, radiation therapy, radiology and imaging services, surgical consultations and presurgery testing, neurology, screening services (including mammography), personalized medicine, access to many clinical trials, genetic testing, support counseling, and follow-up care, all provided by MSK faculty and staff. The center boasts a full-size rehabilitation suite, and surgeons specializing in gynecologic, breast (including plastics and reconstruction), head and neck, gastric, thoracic, urologic, and brain cancers will also offer consultations.
Access to New Treatments Not Available Elsewhere
For the past century, MSK has been at the forefront of clinical research. Many treatments now considered the standard of care were developed in MSK research labs and became part of MSK-led, practice-changing clinical trials.
Today, many patients benefit from the access they have to MSK’s robust clinical trial portfolio, including early-stage studies of novel targeted anticancer drugs, many of which will be available to patients in Montvale. At MSK Bergen, patients will be able to enroll in these and other MSK clinical trials with the support of their doctors and oncology nurses.
“Because clinical trials are so critical in moving cancer research forward, and because a therapy being tested in a trial may be the most effective therapy available, offering patients the opportunity to participate is hugely significant,” said Matthew Matasar, MD, Chief of the MSK Bergen Medical Oncology Service.
Technology and Other Modern Conveniences
The newest and most advanced treatment and diagnostic equipment available today is also at MSK Bergen, such as state-of-the-art PET, CT, MRI, mammography, and radiation therapy equipment, as well as advanced pathology testing, including the latest molecular diagnostics for personalized medicine. An on-site rapid response laboratory means processing blood and other specimens will take place quickly, resulting in less waiting, and an on-site pharmacy will allow patients to fill prescriptions before heading home.
Because radiation therapy and chemotherapy require multiple visits, the design and layout of the common and waiting areas, exam rooms, and infusion spaces are meant to be comfortable and spacious, and to allow for privacy. The infusion suite includes 18 private rooms all equipped with seating for caregivers and guests. Through the use of chair-side technology, patients are able to control the room’s temperature and lighting, as well as access the Internet, cable television, and patient education videos for meditation and breathing. Additionally, the space is designed to facilitate mobility during treatment for patients who wish to move about and interact with others.
MSK Bergen also features a café with freshly made foods and refreshments, a community gallery showcasing the creative talents of local artists, parking and valet services, and Wi-Fi connections.
Lead architect Ewing Cole worked closely with MSK Bergen staff to ensure that the common areas are comfortable, light filled, and spacious. The use of modern furnishings throughout the building provides added comfort, as do large floor-to-ceiling windows in common spaces.
Collaboration: A Hallmark of MSK
As the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, MSK has devoted more than 130 years to exceptional patient care, innovative research, and outstanding educational programs. In 2016, the MSK–Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH) Partnership was created to bring together the cancer care expertise and scale of both institutions to further advance patient care for New Jersey residents.
“Through our partnership we hope to accelerate cancer discoveries and improve the lives of the people we serve,” said Margaret Burke, MSK Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Care and Hospital Operations. “It’s been a pleasure working with [HMH co-Chief Executive Officer] Robert Garrett and his team at HMH, and I look forward to our continued work together.”
At the local level, the MSK-HMH partnership has created a process of admission to Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) for MSK patients residing in northern New Jersey who require acute symptom management. This helps MSK Bergen patients avoid an unnecessary trip into Manhattan, so they may instead receive urgent care closer to home.
“Our clinical care team at MSK Bergen will provide symptom management for our patients as needed in our on-site Symptomatic Care Clinic,” said Ms. Burke. “But for our patients who require extended and overnight care, we’ll be able to admit them closer to home at HUMC. Our partnership streamlines the admissions process, giving HUMC doctors and staff the patient data they need to care for the patient. It’s a wonderful convenience that can add to a family’s peace of mind.”
Today, thanks to cancer science advances, people can almost always receive their treatment in an outpatient setting. MSK Bergen not only will reduce the need for current MSK patients to travel into Manhattan for some programs and services but also will give those newly diagnosed a more convenient option.
“I couldn’t be more excited about MSK Bergen’s opening and what this facility will bring to the community,” said Dr. Matasar. “There will be cutting-edge cancer care with access to the newest treatment approaches and clinical research that will continue to redefine what the best treatments are. But it’s also MSK’s compassionate, personalized care, with an entire team of dedicated staff who will treat each person as an individual. The opportunity to do all this in a calm and comfortable setting closer to where our patients live and work is tremendously gratifying.”
MSK Bergen At a Glance
Two-story, 110,000-square-foot clinical program at opening,
with shell space for future growth
- 190 clinical and administrative staff at opening
- More than 35 doctors whose sole focus is treating cancer
- 28 exam-consult rooms
- 18 infusion bays
- Three treatment rooms for outpatient procedures, such as prostate biopsies, cystoscopies, colposcopies, excision, suture or drain removal, and punch biopsy
- Two linear accelerators used to deliver radiation therapy, with space for expansion
- 500-space parking lot, with valet service available
- $185 million investment, of which $37 million went toward the building’s purchase price ($37 million building purchase price)
- Lead architect: Ewing Cole
- Construction firm: Turner Construction
- Designed to meet the US Green Building Council’s LEED certification
- State-of-the-art conference space for community use
- Time to completion: Approximately 32 months
- MSK Bergen is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering–Hackensack Meridian Health Partnership