New cancer center a the U-I.

Cancer patients helped to design the new treatment facility that will open next week at University Hospitals in Iowa City. Patients were consulted on details down to the arrangement of chairs and the types of chairs they’ll sit in for chemotherapy and blood transfusions.

Dr. George Weiner, director of the University of Iowa’s Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, says the $12-million facility will provide more space, for starters.

“Some patients prefer to be in a more social environment where they have someone next to them where they can talk,” Dr. Weiner says.

“Some prefer to be more private and the new unit really allows us to do both.” The current clinic is always packed, he says, taking in 80 to 90 cancer patients a day for treatments.

Weiner says, “I think particularly exciting is the new infusion suite area which results in significant expansion so we can treat up to 40 patients at a time now, compared to 28 that we have in our current facility.” The 64,000-square-foot clinic will offer on-site pharmacy and laboratory services.

Weiner says it will also incorporate new lab areas for clinical researchers who are working on promising new cancer therapies. He says it should provide a quiet, family-focused environment that will enhance caregiving and promote healing.

“Every aspect of the clinic was designed to try to help patients who are going through what we know is an incredibly difficult time for them and their families,” Weiner says. “We designed the unit to try to make that as stress-free as we possibly can.”

The first patients will be seen in the new clinic on Monday.