U.Va.’s Emily Couric Clinic Puts
Cancer Patients First
The University of Virginia ( U.Va.) Medical Center is a national leader
in cancer research, prevention, detection and treatment. Until recently,
its various oncology treatment and diagnostic services were located in
different buildings on U.Va.’s Charlottesville campus. That changed this
past April 4, however, when U.Va. opened its new Emily Couric Clinical
Cancer Center (ECCCC), a $74 million facility that brings almost all
outpatient cancer services under one roof and closer to the University
Hospital. The ECCCC, served by U.Va.’s central steam and chilled-water
systems, pays tribute to the late state Sen. Emily Couric and her work to
obtain funds for cancer care and research in Virginia.
Couric lost her own battle with pancreatic cancer in 2001. The sister
of former CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, she had represented
Virginia’s 25th district (including Charlottesville) since 1995 and was a
strong advocate for health care issues. She had envisioned a new cancer
center at the university that would address the needs of the whole patient,
not just the disease.
Her vision has indeed been fulfilled at ECCCC, which offers not only the
most advanced medical technology but also a beautiful, comforting environ-
ment created with the patient in mind. The facility includes, for example, a
number of quiet spaces for relaxation and meditation, a patient education
resource center, a special clinic devoted to women’s cancer, an integrative
medicine program, and both private and group chemotherapy rooms so
patients can choose their treatment experience. ‘Nurse navigators’ guide
patients through their diagnosis and treatment, and ‘resource navigators’ are
there to connect patients with all needed support services.
The five-story ECCCC is an environmentally responsible structure that
U.Va. anticipates will earn LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design) Silver certification. The 150,000-sq-ft building was designed with
more than 21,000 sq ft of glass to allow in lots of natural light. It features
three garden spaces for reflection, including one on the roof. It was built
using brick and sandstone that were obtained from regional suppliers; and
90 percent of construction waste was recycled. A bike rack and showers
were installed for employees who bike to work.
Being connected to energy-efficient district heating and cooling
should further help the ECCCC in its pursuit of LEED Silver. Like other
buildings that are also part of the broader U.Va. Health System precinct
(which includes University Hospital, the School of Medicine, the Health
Sciences Library and other facilities), the ECCCC is supplied with 180-psig
steam service from U.Va.’s Main Heating Plant. This plant, with a rated
capacity of 527.5 MMbtu/hr, also distributes 125-psig steam and medium-
temperature hot water to most other buildings on campus. (There are two
smaller satellite heating plants on campus as well.)
Courtesy University of Virginia Health System. Photo Jackson Smith.
The new Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center, which opened April 4, is served
by the University of Virginia’s central steam and chilled-water systems.
The ECCCC receives district cooling service from U.Va.’s Health System
Chilled Water Loop, one of eight chilled-water networks on campus. The
Health System loop is connected to two chiller plants with a combined
18,950 tons of cooling capacity plus 2,000 tons of thermal energy storage.
This winter, U.Va. plans to construct a new chiller plant in the Health
System precinct that will be used to retire aging equipment in one of the
existing plants and to prepare for future campus growth.
Some of that growth will come from within the cancer center. While
the ECCCC structure totals 150,000 sq ft of floor space, approximately
121,000 sq ft of that is already in use, while the remainder – the fifth floor
– awaits future cancer center expansion. However that space is eventually
utilized, it will most certainly be in keeping with Emily Couric’s vision for
compassionate, patient-centered care.
As her sister Katie said at the ECCCC dedication, “I am so thrilled this
facility exists. I think it’s such a beautiful reflection of my sister’s spirit, and
I think she would be so pleased to know how many people she continues
For more information, please contact Cheryl Gomez, director of
energy and utilities, University of Virginia, at email@example.com.
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