Henry Ford Cancer Institute Set to Begin Patient Care at Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion

January 19, 2021
New cancer pavilion

The new 187,000-square-foot facility offers the most advanced cancer treatment options available, convenient access to clinical trials

DETROIT (Jan. 19, 2021) – The Henry Ford Cancer Institute at Henry Ford Health System will open the doors of the new Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion on Jan. 20, 2021. Connected to Henry Ford Hospital by the Nancy Vlasic Skywalk over West Grand Boulevard, the new cancer pavilion is a global destination for seamless and integrated cancer care, bringing together the newest and most innovative treatment options including specialty clinics for 14 different types of cancer, precision medicine, clinical trials and supportive services. 

“The opening of the Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion marks the beginning of a new era in cancer care,” said Wright Lassiter, III, President and CEO of Henry Ford Health System. “This investment is a testament to decades of cancer care innovation at Henry Ford Hospital, where we’ve developed and delivered first in the world care. The pavilion brings this innovation to new levels, serving as a global destination for cancer care, with our other System cancer sites working together to create one elite team for each patient.”  

All aspects of the building’s design, from the multi-level attached parking deck to its floor-to-ceiling windows that fill the building with natural light, was guided with input from cancer patients, survivors and families.

“This new Henry Ford Cancer Institute location in Detroit provides the ideal environment for our clinicians and team members to deliver the best in patient-centered care in a warm and embracing setting,” said Adnan Munkarah, M.D., Chief Clinical Officer of Henry Ford Health System. “Those who are battling cancer will have access to the most innovative therapies and clinical trials delivered by one of the best teams in the world – whether that level of care is being delivered at the Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion or in partnership with one of our many other Henry Ford Cancer Institute locations.”

The new cancer pavilion was made possible through the generosity of Detroit businessman and philanthropist Mort Harris, who donated $20 million to Henry Ford Health System in December 2016 in honor of his late wife, Brigitte. The $20 million gift was in addition to a separate $20 million gift from Harris to support Henry Ford’s precision medicine, brain cancer and pancreatic cancer programs. Brigitte Harris battled pancreatic cancer for almost two years before she passed away in 2016. 

“This is a transcendent moment in the fight against cancer,” said Steven Kalkanis, M.D., CEO of Henry Ford Medical Group and Chief Academic Officer of Henry Ford Health System. “At a time when our society has endured extraordinary challenges, the opening of this new Henry Ford Cancer Institute location in Detroit is a beacon of hope in the lives of everyone affected by this disease. The pavilion provides the facilities and resources required for our dedicated researchers and clinicians to push the boundaries of modern medicine that will allow us to detect cancer earlier and treat it more effectively than ever before.”

Advanced and Transformative Cancer Care

One of the key elements of the care patients will receive at the new cancer pavilion, as well as other Henry Ford Cancer Institute locations throughout the health system, is access to Precision Medicine, which customizes treatment based on each patient’s unique genomic profile as well as environmental and lifestyle factors.

“Henry Ford Cancer Institute is the first and most comprehensive in Michigan to offer integrated genomic testing and treatment expertise to all cancer patients,” said David Kwon, M.D., Physician in Charge at Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion. “Precision Medicine is just one of the ways we ensure that care is tailored to each unique patient. The pavilion also offers 14 clinics where patients see the medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, along with other specialists who specialize in their specific type of cancer. It is the expertise of our collective team – paired with the most advanced treatment options and an innovative healing environment – that strengthens our patients on their journey and gives them hope.” 

“Our new cancer pavilion is designed to deliver an exceptional care experience surrounded by compassion, comfort, innovation and hope,” said Madelyn Van Tassel, Interim Vice President and Executive Director of Henry Ford Cancer Institute. “A cancer diagnosis can be one of the most difficult and frightening moments in a person’s life. Our care teams are committed to guiding each patient through their unique journey and recognize that every interaction is an opportunity to support our patients’ wellbeing.”

Key features of Henry Ford’s new cancer pavilion include:

  • Clinics by Cancer Type
    • Patients will meet their entire team of experts who specialize in their type of cancer in a single clinic location, where they will receive a wide range of personalized cancer care.
  • Precision Medicine Program
    • Two people may have the same type of cancer, but no two people respond to treatments in precisely the same way. Precision Medicine works to find the most effective, targeted treatments custom-fit for each person.
  • OncoStat Clinic
    • Same day urgent cancer care for medical concerns, such as side effects following chemotherapy, radiation treatment or surgery, are offered by cancer-specific medical providers in a serene and safe environment, dedicated specifically to cancer patients.
  • Supportive Services
    • Nurse navigation, financial counseling, social work, genetic counselors, cancer nutritionists, psych-oncology, and integrative medicine services are just some of the comprehensive services meant to support the whole person.
  • Clinical Trials Office
    • Staffed with research nurses, this office will give patients access to the latest clinical trials.
  • Infusion Center
    • Former patients and survivors were instrumental in the design of the infusion area, where the layout was designed to maximize safety and comfort, complete with floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize ambient light as well as a separate roof-top terrace specifically for patients.
  • Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy Clinic
    • A clinic space dedicated to stem cell transplant and cellular therapy offers the most advanced options, such as CAR-T therapy, that will revolutionize patient care with certain types of cancer or blood disorders.
  • Radiation Oncology Clinic and Treatment Center
    • The new cancer pavilion features some of the most advanced radiation therapy options available, including ViewRay MRIdian Linac®. Henry Ford Cancer Institute was the first in the world to offer this level of MRI-guided radiation therapy. Others technologies include:
    • Varian® Edge™ radiosurgery system
    • Varian TrueBeam™ linear accelerator
    • High dose rate internal radiation

“At the Henry Ford Cancer Institute, we are committed to providing care as one team, regardless of the site of care. This new pavilion serves as the anchor to our commitment,” said Benjamin Movsas, M.D., Interim Medical Director and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford Cancer Institute. “Everything about the Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, from the advanced treatment options offered to the sunrays shining through the building’s windows, symbolizes hope for our cancer patients and their families in this supportive and compassionate environment of expert patient-centered care.”

Artfully Designed with Patients in Mind

Designed by Detroit-based architecture, engineering and planning firm SmithGroup, and constructed by Turner Construction Company, the Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion features a beautiful third-floor terrace and several quiet meditation spaces to provide a comfortable and calming experience for patients and families, as well as a Healing Arts Gallery and Art Walk. 

The Healing Arts Gallery will exhibit a rotating collection of paintings, prints, photography and other media produced by patients and emerging metro Detroit artists. The Art Walk features replicas of masterpieces from the Detroit Institute of Arts, part of its Inside|Out program, along the second-floor corridor and across the Nancy Vlasic Skywalk.

The pavilion also features special gathering places for patient and caregiver support groups, yoga classes, music and art therapy. To protect the health of patients, families and staff, in-person classes and gatherings will be on hold due to COVID-19 and will resume once safe to do so.

Food offerings are another aspect of the building that was planned with input from patients, survivors and their families. The Market, designed specifically to cater to the needs of patients undergoing active cancer treatments, will offer a broad range of lighter fare and comfort foods, including hot entrées, self-service gourmet beverages, fresh produce and other goods, and gluten-free and vegan options. 

The new cancer pavilion is the anchor of the Henry Ford Cancer Institute, which comprises more than 1,450 cancer care experts at five hospitals, 11 outpatient facilities and hundreds of aligned doctor’s offices throughout Southeast and Southcentral Michigan. Henry Ford Cancer Institute provides world-class cancer care to nearly 10,000 new patients each year. 

To learn more about the new cancer pavilion, visit henryford.com/NewCancerPavilion.


About Henry Ford Cancer Institute:
The Henry Ford Cancer Institute is one of the largest cancer programs in Michigan, providing care at five hospitals, 11 outpatient facilities and hundreds of aligned doctor’s offices throughout southeast and southcentral Michigan. Cancer experts at Henry Ford communicate seamlessly across the institute’s multiple cancer treatment locations, offering patients access to the most advanced treatment options and expertise, close to home. Treatment for the most complex or rare cancers and the Institute’s extensive cancer research program is anchored at its Detroit location. For more information, visit henryford.com/cancer.  

About Henry Ford Health System:
Founded in 1915 by Henry Ford himself, Henry Ford Health System is a non-profit, integrated health system committed to improving people’s lives through excellence in the science and art of healthcare and healing. Henry Ford Health System consists of six hospitals including Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit; Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals; Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital; Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital; Henry Ford Allegiance in Jackson, MI; and Henry Ford Kingswood Hospital – an inpatient psychiatric hospital.

Henry Ford Health System also includes Henry Ford Medical Group; Henry Ford Physician Network; more than 250 outpatient facilities; Henry Ford Pharmacy; Henry Ford OptimEyes; and other healthcare services. Our not-for-profit health plan, Health Alliance Plan (HAP) provides health coverage for more than 540,000 people.

As one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, Henry Ford Health System trains more than 3,000 medical students, residents, and fellows annually in more than 50 accredited programs, and has trained nearly 40% of the state’s physicians. Our dedication to education and research is supported by nearly $100 million in annual grants from the National Institutes of Health and other public and private foundations.

Henry Ford Health System employs more than 33,000 people, including more than 1,600 physicians, more than 6,600 nurses and 5,000 allied health professionals.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Adkins / (586) 307-2027 / jadkins6@hfhs.org


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