Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) today announced that it has received the largest gift in its history, a commitment of $150 million from long-time MSK board member David H. Koch. This unprecedented contribution will transform cancer care with a state-of-the-art outpatient medical facility to be known as The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care. The 23-story building, in development between East 73rd and 74th Streets overlooking the FDR Drive, will provide the most advanced cancer treatments in a dynamic space designed with the needs of patients firmly in mind.
The gift is the largest single donation ever made by David Koch, whose overall contributions to a wide range of organizations and causes nationwide total nearly $1.3 billion. At MSK, where he has served as a member of the Boards of Overseers and Managers since 1990, he has now made $225 million in gifts and pledges, 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.
“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.”
“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 David H. 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.”
“The creation of this outstanding facility will be a real game changer for Memorial Sloan Kettering,” said Craig B. Thompson, MSK’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “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.”
The World Health Organization has reported that cancer cases are expected to surge by 57 percent over the next 20 years, calling it “an imminent human disaster.” Today, one in two men and one in three women in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. New York in particular faces a dramatic increase in cancer, as the number of residents over the age of 65 is expected to increase by 45 percent to 1.35 million by 2030.*
MSK cares for more patients with cancer than any other hospital in the northeast. As the result of recent medical advances, fewer and fewer cancer patients require hospitalization as part of their care, ultimately increasing the need for outpatient cancer services.
Every day, an average of 4,700 patients receive outpatient care at one of MSK’s locations, including seven suburban outpatient treatment facilities. In the next ten years, MSK anticipates this figure growing by 60 percent.
The new facility is the latest example of MSK’s creative and innovative approaches to redesigning the way cancer care is delivered today, and will serve as a model for providing cancer care in the 21st century. It will enable MSK to achieve the greater efficiencies and lower costs — and, above all, the enhanced patient comfort and convenience — that come with providing treatment on an outpatient basis.
Novel clinical trials not typically available at other area hospitals will be offered, 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. Also located in the building will be MSK’s full array of cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic services, such as interventional radiology, as well as programs for patients with lung, head and neck, and hematologic cancers.
Just as MSK is constantly advancing cancer treatment and research, it is also continuously innovating around the patient experience — and The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care will set a new standard. The 750,000-square-foot structure will address the distinct needs of cancer patients, with special features to promote feelings of well-being and a sense of control over their surroundings, all while minimizing the anxiety that inevitably accompanies cancer treatment. It has been designed to look and operate differently from other healthcare centers.
While the new center will be home to the most advanced technology and state-of-the-art cancer treatment, great care has been taken in creating interior spaces that accommodate the needs of patients, families, and caregivers, freeing them from feeling tethered to waiting rooms and providing more control over individual treatment spaces, from privacy to lighting and temperature. Flexible personal and community spaces, educational offerings, and opportunities for exercise and physical movement will further enhance the patient experience and will contribute to making The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care a national model.
Waiting rooms will look out over the East River, providing engaging views and abundant natural light; set-backs on several floors will allow for green-roofed terraces and a garden. Inside the main entrance to the building will be a spacious lobby, with a graceful sweep and welcoming atmosphere that will give vivid expression to the unsurpassed quality and commitment to excellence that characterize the facility as a whole.
With its opening scheduled for 2019, The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care will usher in a new era at MSK, helping to meet the rising demand for advanced treatments while providing patients with the confidence and hope such care can bring.
David Koch is an executive vice president of Koch Industries, which is based in Wichita, Kansas. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering, he sits on the boards of numerous high-profile organizations and institutions. In 2005, he received a presidential appointment to a five-year term on the National Cancer Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute.
*New York City Population Projections by Age/Sex & Borough, 2000-2030, The City of New York