Respite environments located throughout the Thomas Center include indoor and outdoor spaces in public areas as well as within clinics to afford a regenerative moment and a view outside.

Photo by Brad Feinknopf

The Harold M. and Eugenia S. Thomas Comprehensive Care Center, located at Bethesda North Hospital in Cincinnati, guides patients along their care journeys from diagnosis through survivorship. This platform-based model is TriHealth Cancer Institute’s flagship location. 

The 132,000-square-foot building, which also includes spaces for the heart institute, houses transdisciplinary clinics, an infusion center, radiation oncology, imaging, lab, teaching kitchen, café and ancillary services like genetics, nutrition, behavioral health, social services, and spiritual and financial counseling. 

The building provides a supportive and restorative environment for patients and staff using salutogenic measures to reduce stress. This begins by weaving biophilic elements throughout, from the garden spaces surrounding the building entries to its use of natural patterns and materials, emphasis on providing natural light, views and outdoor spaces on each level. 

Portals to every service in the building are accessed directly from the three-story atrium space to aid in wayfinding and encourage use of the amenities housed within this connective tissue to promote self-efficacy. Spaces for pacing and reflection at each level create a relaxation response for patients, while staff can decompress in haven spaces within each clinic. 

Opportunities to control level of privacy and vantage point provide prospect and refuge while nonclinical amenities and transparencies between care destinations provide the comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness important for sense of coherence. 

Clinical modules feature universal exam rooms and central staff work cores with the flexibility to host shifting team compositions. The cores also provide the huddle space needed to review cases for the day and devise collaborative care strategies. 

Consultation spaces within exam rooms and infusion bays allow care or pharmacy conversations, while those within each module make it easy to enroll in clinical trials or meet with a navigator. At the entry level, clustered consult rooms support nonclinical visits with genetic, behavioral health or nutrition services.