Moffitt Cancer Center Reaches Milestone with Opening of New State-of-the-Art Hospital
Moffitt Cancer Center, a renowned healthcare network focused on cancer treatment and research, is all set to achieve a significant milestone with the opening of its second inpatient hospital on July 31. This remarkable expansion is part of Moffitt’s ambitious growth plan, aiming to provide cutting-edge care and treatment to more patients in need.
Currently operating from four campuses, Moffitt’s original location at the University of South Florida has been its home base since its inception in 1986, featuring an outpatient clinic, research facilities, and a four-story inpatient hospital. Additionally, the McKinley campus, spanning 50 acres, has been equipped with an outpatient clinic since 2015, while clinics in Wesley Chapel and International Plaza round out Moffitt’s current offerings.
The new inpatient hospital, located at the McKinley Drive campus, will contribute significantly to the expansion of Moffitt’s capabilities. Standing tall at 10 stories and comprising 128 beds, the McKinley hospital comes as a result of Moffitt’s need for additional capacity, as it has outgrown its 202-bed USF hospital. The new hospital has been designed to accommodate patients with an average stay of three to seven days and boasts 19 spacious operating rooms, nearly double the size of those at the USF hospital.
A unique aspect of the new hospital is the emphasis on “intention,” achieved through extensive collaboration with Moffitt’s patient and family advisory program. This council, consisting of current and past patients, family members, and caregivers, actively contributed to the hospital’s design, ensuring that the patient experience remains at the forefront.
The hospital incorporates several features that prioritize patient comfort and care. For instance, a discharge room provides outgoing patients with privacy post-surgery, protecting their experience and recovery. The lobby is adorned with chandeliers and donated artwork, exuding the ambiance of a luxury hotel. Patient rooms are more spacious than those at the USF hospital and include digital whiteboards displaying real-time health updates. Moreover, the integration of Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa allows patients to control certain room settings without assistance from a nurse, enhancing their autonomy. Digitized notes to nurses, such as fall risk warnings, further streamline communication and patient care.
Apart from improving the patient experience, the McKinley hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to support neurosurgeons. The inclusion of intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows surgeons to obtain real-time images of the brain during surgery, enabling them to track subtle shifts and enhance surgical precision.
According to spokesperson Amanda Sangster, the McKinley hospital will primarily handle surgeries related to solid tumors, which are the most common basis for inpatient surgery. Simultaneously, the focus at the USF campus will shift towards blood-related cancer treatments, including transfusions.
Unlike many projects delayed by the pandemic, the McKinley hospital’s construction remained on track, commencing in March 2020 and completing finishing touches recently. The hospital will initially open four floors to patients, with two additional floors reserved for future surgical demands, as explained by Christine Alvero, the vice president of hospital operations at McKinley.
Preparing for the opening day also involved comprehensive training sessions for doctors and nurses, as the hospital will employ nearly 1,000 staff members, including approximately 800 new hires. To address the ongoing national nursing shortage, Moffitt is utilizing a program that links USF nursing graduates to job opportunities within the organization.
Looking ahead, Moffitt has more expansion plans in the pipeline. The network is scheduled to open another outpatient clinic in Hillsborough County’s South Shore next year, followed by a 750-acre campus in Pasco County in 2025, equipped with state-of-the-art therapies.
The Tampa Bay region is witnessing a broad increase in cancer care, with Tampa General Hospital recently announcing the completion of phase two of its cancer institute, situated inside the Brandon Healthplex in south Hillsborough County.
Moffitt Cancer Center’s new inpatient hospital represents a pivotal step in the network’s growth journey, bringing advanced cancer care to more patients while prioritizing the overall patient experience. With cutting-edge technology, patient-centric design, and a commitment to excellence, Moffitt continues to play a leading role in the fight against cancer in the Tampa Bay region and beyond.