Community Support to Build the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center
Through a Community Needs Assessment and input from cancer patients, survivors and caregivers, physicians, nurses and other clinicians, it was determined that this region would benefit greatly from local access to a comprehensive cancer center. The Indian River Medical Center Foundation launched the Excellence in Cancer Care campaign as a bold vision to make world-class cancer care a reality in Indian River County. IRMC’s cancer program has been accredited with commendation since 1989 by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. This is a prestigious designation as only one in four U.S. hospitals receive this honor and helped to shape the decision to proceed with building the cancer center.
A Lasting Legacy
For Bill and Marlynn Scully, investing in the IRMC Foundation’s Excellence in Cancer Care campaign was more than philanthropy – it was personal as they had lost Mr. Scully’s brother, John, to the disease. The painful loss wasn’t the first time their family had been touched by cancer, and they refused to idly watch another family suffer the heartache they endured. They knew they could help fund the program so it could begin serving patients and families as soon as possible.
The Scully’s generous $12 million gift was soon matched by close friends, Pat and Carol Welsh, leading to the establishment of the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center. With the $24 million contribution by the two families, the Campaign for Excellence in Cancer Care exceeded its original $30 million goal through the generosity of other donors joining in to help expand the scope of services for cancer patients. These donors are recognized on our Donor Wall, proudly displayed at the cancer center. The overwhelming support propelled the IRMC Foundation to increase its goal to over $48 million that allowed for an expanded vision for clinical trials for patients who need treatments beyond standard protocol, for two new operating suites and renovation of oncology inpatient rooms, and for other diagnostic and treatment capabilities.
In addition to providing treatments such as radiation oncology and chemotherapy, the cancer center provides the Dr. Richard Milsten Oncology Patient Care Navigation Program and offers a high level of service to patients and their families right here in Vero Beach, Florida. With a patient resource library, a multimedia conference center, a location for support groups and healing gardens, the new Scully-Welsh Cancer Center provides opportunities for major advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment technology. Attracting the best and brightest in clinical talent, the cancer center provides patients in the community with local access to clinical trials.
A New Era of Cancer Care
The Scully-Welsh Cancer Center quickly took shape after an April, 2014 groundbreaking ceremony and was designed to promote resource utilization and to connect patients and their families with supporting services. When the 34,000-square-foot facility opened in late 2015, it ushered in a new era of cancer care in Indian River County.
- Zande Atrium: Dramatic hospitality area where patients enter the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center and where families may relax when not with patients. The sun shades on the lobby’s glass walls are tuned, through the use of computer modelling, to allow light into the two-story atrium and views out to the landscape but prevent the intensity of Florida’s direct sun!
- Concourse Gallery: Central thoroughfare connecting patient education and support services with research, treatment and administrative areas.
- Inspiration Wall: Mosaic art wall prominently located outside the main entrance, offering opportunities for individuals to pay tribute to cancer patients and caregivers with mounted tiles reflecting personalized messages.
- Baldwin Infusion Center: Area where patients receive chemotherapy and infusion services. Each infusion bay features access to natural light and ample space for family to remain present throughout the journey. The wood ceilings are meant to evoke a porch roof and the large windows provide a pleasing view of the outside gardens. Two rooms are completely enclosed, providing privacy according to patient preferences.
- Radiation Oncology: Reception, procedure rooms and physician offices.
- Oncology Clinic: Reception, consultation rooms, exam rooms, procedure rooms and physician offices.
- Genetics Consultation: Conference space for private sessions between patients, families, counselors and navigators.
- Marilyn McConnell Patient Resource Library: Area where patients can access literature and internet sites to receive information.
- Walker Multimedia Conference Center: Large meeting space for public education programs and weekly tumor board conferences.
- Buck Conference Room: Private consultation area for patients, family members and cancer care professionals.
- Patient Consultation Rooms: Private conference spaces on the second floor for patients and family members to discuss care with clinicians.
Two beautifully landscaped healing gardens are located just outside the cancer center, providing patients, visitors and staff with an outdoor setting to take a break and reflect. Andrew’s Garden to the north (in memory of Andrew Hillyer Sutro) and Sally’s Garden to the west (in memory of Sally Rogers) provide the opportunity to commune with nature, providing comfort and quiet among lush, tropical plants. Visitors may sit in solitude, enjoy lunch or a good book under one of the many umbrellas while rejuvenating their spirit in a place of beauty.
A commissioned work of art is found within the gardens, in honor of C.B. “Jack” Rogers. The 7-foot Kaleidoscope is symbolic of how life changes when a cancer diagnosis is received. The world looks different and life even more beautiful as we look through the lens. Each individual – artist or craftsman – who participated in the creation of this work of art is a cancer survivor.
If you’d like to donate or learn how funds raised by the community are used to support cancer care in our area, please visit the Indian River Medical Center Foundation website.