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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute breaks ground on Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, a state-of-the-art outpatient facility


 

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New center key component of fundraising campaign, Mission Possible: The Dana-Farber Campaign to Conquer Cancer

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Dana-Farber and state leaders dig in during the groundbreaking for the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute today celebrated the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, a state-of-the-art outpatient care and clinical research facility that will serve as the model for cancer centers of the future.

"The need for expert cancer care is growing in our region and nationally because our society is aging, treatments are becoming more effective and intensive, and, fortunately, people with cancer are surviving longer," said Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, president at Dana-Farber. "The new Yawkey Center for Cancer Care is the centerpiece of Dana-Farber's response to this need for the best 21st Century cancer care and for new modes of clinical research designed to bring better treatments to patients more quickly and safely."

The groundbreaking drew a wide range of state and local public officials, including U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick, U.S. Representative Michael Capuano (MA-08), Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Massachusetts State Representative Jeffrey Snchez, and Boston City Councilor Michael Ross, and several former Red Sox players: Carl Yastrzemski, Johnny Pesky and Rico Petrocelli.

The Yawkey Center for Cancer Care will house many of Dana-Farber's adult clinical services, as well as translational research space and patient and family services. The 275,000-square-foot building, to be constructed at 450 Brookline Avenue in the heart of Dana-Farber's campus, will include 100 exam rooms, 150 infusion beds, and a welcoming and patient-friendly front entrance for Dana-Farber. The building is expected to be ready for occupancy in early 2011.

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An artist's rendering of the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care

As the first new clinical building Dana-Farber has constructed in more than 30 years, the center will enable Dana-Farber to address space issues driven by the rapidly accelerating pace of cancer research and a dramatic increase in the number of patients treated at Dana-Farber. Between 2001 and 2006, outpatient visits and chemotherapy infusions at Dana-Farber grew by more than 51 percent, from nearly 128,000 to more than 194,000. The number of clinical trials available to Dana-Farber patients increased more than 53 percent, from 409 trials to 629, during the same period. Dana-Farber officials expect this growth to continue, due in part to the aging of the U.S. population — cancer disproportionately strikes people older than 60 — and increased survival rates.

"The Yawkey Center for Cancer Care will provide Dana-Farber with a new world-class facility in which to provide its world-class care and research," said Larry Lucchino, who is co-chair of the Mission Possible Campaign and President/CEO of the Boston Red Sox. "As a two-time cancer survivor and a former Dana-Farber patient, I know firsthand how critical it is to a cancer patient's physical and emotional well-being to receive the most clinically advanced and compassionate care in a welcoming setting."

The Yawkey Center for Cancer Care will serve patients of the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Dana-Farber's collaboration in adult oncology with Brigham and Women's Hospital, with outpatient care provided at Dana-Farber and inpatient care at Brigham and Women's Hospital. A similar collaboration defines Dana-Farber's 50-year relationship with Children's Hospital Boston for pediatric cancer care (Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Care).

The development of the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care is one of the key components of Dana-Farber's fundraising campaign, Mission Possible: The Dana-Farber Campaign to Conquer Cancer. The campaign seeks to raise $1 billion to accelerate the pace of cancer research, promote the translation of scientific advances into new life-saving therapies, and expand Dana-Farber's ability to provide its signature patient- and family-centered care.

The facility is named in honor of the Yawkey Foundation for its $30 million campaign gift — the largest overall gift in the foundation's history — to Dana-Farber in April 2007 to support the facility's construction. It also recognizes the longstanding relationship between the late Tom and Jean Yawkey and Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund.

"Tom and Jean Yawkey were deeply devoted to supporting the life-saving work of Dr. Sidney Farber and the Institute," said James Healey, president and trustee of the Yawkey Foundation. "They both gave generously of their resources and personal time to support the battle against cancer. Today, the Trustees of the Yawkey Foundation take great pleasure in celebrating this longstanding relationship between the Yawkeys and Dana-Farber."

The histories of Dana-Farber and the Yawkey family are inextricably linked. In 1953, the Yawkeys adopted the Jimmy Fund as the official charity of the Boston Red Sox, which they owned from 1933-2002. The Red Sox-Jimmy Fund partnership, which remains strong and fruitful to this day, has generated millions of dollars in support for cancer care and research at Dana-Farber and has helped to make contributing to the Jimmy Fund a New England tradition.

"As much as the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care will benefit the patients of Dana-Farber, it also will help cancer patients around the world as the knowledge that is gained within the center exam rooms and laboratories will be used to further research and care for all cancer patients," said Josh Bekenstein, co-chair of the Mission Possible Campaign and a managing director of Bain Capital.

Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP (ZGF), a national architecture, planning and interior design firm headquartered in Portland, Ore., and Miller Dyer Spears (MDS), a Boston-based architectural and planning firm, will oversee the center's design and development. ZGF is the design architect and MDS is the associate architect. Walsh Brothers, Incorporated of Boston is the construction manager for the project.

Additional information about the campaign is available online at www.dana-farber.org/campaign.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Founded in 1947 by Sidney Farber, MD, the father of modern chemotherapy, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.dana-farber.org) is a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, and a federally designated Center for AIDS Research.

About the Mission Possible Campaign

Mission Possible: The Dana-Farber Campaign to Conquer Cancer (www.dana-farber.org/campaign) seeks to provide Dana-Farber scientists with the tools to further uncover the genetic and molecular roots of cancer, and to turn that knowledge into ever better therapies for people battling the disease. The $1 billion campaign will support four critical areas: research and care; technology; the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care; and the Jimmy Fund and unrestricted funds, which will support the most pressing needs and promising developments at Dana-Farber.

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