$155M cancer pavilion expansion begins at Henry Ford Health

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 - Henry Ford cancer institute
Rendering of the Brigette Harris Cancer Pavilion (Courtesy of Henry Ford Health System and SmithGroupJJR)

Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System has broken ground on a $155 million expansion of its cancer institute, to be named the Brigette Harris Cancer Pavilion.

The 187,000-square-foot facility is slated to open in 2019 across from the Henry Ford Hospital, with a skywalk bridge connecting the two buildings. The system said it will be a “destination center for ambulatory cancer treatment,” while also focusing on precision medicine, clinical trials and research.

“Precision medicine is the future of cancer treatment and the path to an eventual cure,” said Steven N. Kalkanis, MD, medical director of the Henry Ford Cancer Institute. “Being able to crack the molecular genetic code for each patient's individual cancer will allow us to zero in on the safest and most personalized treatment. When you combine that with access to Henry Ford's leading clinical trials and research programs, we really are building new hope for cancer patients worldwide.”

In addition to research programs, the center has promised many features focused on patients, including virtual tumor boards, telemedicine, integrated lab services and nurse navigators assigned to each patient.

The facility’s namesake, Brigette Harris, was a cancer patient at Henry Ford who died in 2016. Her husband Mort gave the system $40 million—labeled as the largest financial investment in a Detroit medical facility in the last 40 years—of which $20 million will be used for the new center.

“This is my life's work now – to partner with the people from Henry Ford to find a cure for pancreatic cancer,” Harris said in a statement. “I watched my wife suffer for 21 months with this disease and no one else should have to endure that.”

The center was designed by SmithGroupJJR, a Detroit firm which worked on other major hospital projects like the new George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. and Kaiser Permanente’s 400-bed Los Angeles Medical Center.