Memorial Sloan Kettering yesterday announced the largest single gift in its history, a $150 million commitment from longtime board member David H. Koch to build a state-of-the-art outpatient medical facility that will transform cancer care. Scheduled to open in 2019, the new center will provide the most advanced cancer treatments in a dynamic space for the rapidly increasing number of patients requiring outpatient care.
The 23-story building will be known as The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care. Yesterday, MSK leadership joined Mr. Koch and his wife, Julia, for a ceremonial turning of the soil at the building’s site between East 73rd and 74th Streets overlooking the FDR Drive in Manhattan. The outpatient center is made possible by the largest single donation ever given by Mr. Koch, whose overall contributions to a wide range of organizations and causes nationwide total nearly $1.3 billion.
“The creation of this outstanding facility will be a real game-changer for Memorial Sloan Kettering,” said MSK President and Chief Executive Officer Craig B. Thompson. “Thanks to David’s landmark commitment, we will be able to offer cutting-edge therapies and an expanded roster of innovative clinical trials to more patients than ever. The knowledge gained from the work conducted inside the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care will benefit cancer patients around the world.”
“It is my ardent hope now that the new Center for Cancer Care will transform cancer treatment worldwide, with the utmost emphasis on the needs of patients and their families,” said Mr. Koch. “The novel clinical trials that will take place within its walls, and the other vital services including interventional radiology, outpatient bone marrow transplants, and programs for patients with lung, head and neck, and hematologic cancers, promise to be medically revolutionary, and I am honored to support this important work.”
A Growing Need for Outpatient Care
As the result of recent medical advances, fewer cancer patients require hospitalization as part of their care, ultimately increasing the need for outpatient cancer services. MSK, which cares for more patients with cancer than any hospital in the northeast, currently delivers outpatient treatment to an average of 4,700 patients each day across multiple locations, including seven outpatient facilities outside Manhattan. In the next ten years, that figure is estimated to increase by 60 percent.
The new center will enable MSK to address this growing patient need with the greater efficiencies, lower costs, and enhanced patient comfort and convenience that come with providing treatment on an outpatient basis.
The center will offer novel clinical trials, providing patients with access to the latest treatment options. A pioneering outpatient bone marrow transplant unit will offer lifesaving procedures that in the past required strict isolation and a lengthy hospital stay. The building will also include a full array of cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic services.
An Enhanced Patient Experience
The innovative center is designed to look and operate differently from conventional healthcare facilities, allowing the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care to serve as a national model. The center will incorporate many features intended to enhance the patient experience and promote feelings of well-being while minimizing the anxiety that often accompanies cancer treatment.
The building’s interior spaces will serve the needs of patients, families, and caregivers, freeing them from feeling tethered to waiting rooms and allowing them to have control over privacy, lighting, and temperature in the individual treatment spaces. The waiting rooms will overlook the East River, providing arresting views and abundant natural light. Set-backs on several floors will allow for green-roofed terraces and a garden.
“We are deeply grateful to David for his visionary generosity, which will help ensure that Memorial Sloan Kettering continues to set the pace for advances in patient care,” said Douglas A. Warner III, Chairman of the Boards of Overseers and Managers. “The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care will accommodate the most sophisticated therapies and constantly evolving technologies in a setting that enhances the experience of our patients and their families.”
Mr. Koch has served as a member of MSK’s Boards of Overseers and Managers since 1990. He has now made $225 million in gifts and pledges to MSK, including funds to establish the David H. Koch Center for the Immunologic Control of Cancer, endow two David H. Koch Chairs, and provide ongoing support for prostate cancer research.