Indiana University, Clarian Health dedicate IU Simon Cancer Center's new patient building on Aug. 21


INDIANAPOLIS -- (Aug. 18, 2008) – The dreams of many will be realized Aug. 21 when the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center patient care building is formally dedicated during a 4 p.m. ceremony in the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Campus Center.


The $150 million building combines the latest in cancer therapies in one location and provides resources designed to make cancer care less stressful for the patient and their loved ones.


The IU Simon Cancer Center facility was made possible through the generosity of many, including Indianapolis philanthropists Melvin and Bren Simon, who donated $25 million to the building project. They also contributed $25 million to the research efforts at the center in memory of their son Joshua Max Simon.


The opening of the new building coincides with the renewal of the IU Simon Cancer Center’s designation as a premier cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; a distinction first earned in 1999. The recognition includes a five-year, $6 million grant. This designation recognizes IU Simon Cancer Center’s scientific excellence and supports life-saving research that ultimately benefits patients. The IU Simon Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated cancer center in the state that provides patient care and one of only 65 NCI-designated institutes in the nation.


IU President Michael A. McRobbie, Ph.D., will preside over the dedication. Speakers will include President McRobbie; Daniel F. Evans Jr., president and chief executive officer for Clarian Health; Charles R. Bantz, IU executive vice president and chancellor of IUPUI, and D. Craig Brater, M.D., IU vice president for life sciences and dean of the IU School of Medicine.


IU will award an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Bren Simon for her philanthropic good works. Her husband, Melvin Simon, holds an honorary law degree from IU. Stephen D. Williams, M.D., the HH Gregg Professor of Oncology, who has directed the cancer center since it was formed in 1992, will be presented with an Indiana University Presidential Medal.


The dedication will include a musical tribute by IU Distinguished Professor David N. Baker and his jazz ensemble, and the reading of an original work by poet and IU Simon Cancer Center hematologist/oncologist Larry D. Cripe, M.D., entitled “There Are Dreams that Surpass all Dreams.”


A bronze bust of Joshua Max Simon, created by Marc Mellow, one of America’s foremost representational sculptors, will be unveiled by Mrs. Simon and President McRobbie. The work will be placed in the new building’s main lobby.


Other works of art in the building include Rainsong, a mobile-like fluid sculpture, created by Indianapolis artist Jeff Laramore of 2nd Globe Studios; nature photographs contributed by the public and employees, and mosaics created by cancer patients and their families through the Cancer Mosaic Collaborative, part of the CompleteLife Program at the cancer center.


The new cancer care facility is a 405,000-square-foot building that brings inpatient and outpatient cancer care under one roof. The five-story building has 80 private patient rooms with accommodations for family members, private and semi-private space for more than 40 chemotherapy infusion patients, 14 to 16 operating rooms, an expanded radiation oncology suite, the latest in radiology and imaging facilities and a retail pharmacy.


IU Simon Cancer Center patients and families were included on the building’s design team to support the mission of the new facility. Their suggestions are seen throughout the building in elements as obvious as the many green spaces available to visitors and as subtle as window shade systems that can be controlled by patients who are sensitive to sunlight.


The new building will open to inpatients Aug. 27, and on Sept. 2, it will open for outpatient visits. The first surgeries will be Sept. 3.