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Medical oncology renovations aim to improve patient experience


Columbia St. Mary’s Hospitals and the Foundation share a passionate commitment to continuous improvement.  Teams of health care professionals constantly seek out best practices, new treatments and technologies.  Sometimes, however, the best ideas come from patients and their families.  This is true for the medical oncology center at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee.

The husband of a cancer patient receiving treatment at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee provided valuable feedback about improving their experience. These generous people then provided funds to cover a major upgrade which included thoughtful renovations and amenities to provide improved privacy and a more patient-centered care environment. These enhancements to the medical oncology area were completed in January 2010.

New medical oncology waiting room

Fresh paint in a soothing palette complement the wood-grain floors.

New private room for blood draws.

Top to bottom: The new patient waiting room, the entrance to the Cancer Center, and the new private room for blood draws.

The goal of the renovation was to provide more private space, comfort amenities for patients and loved ones, and an uplifting atmosphere to promote healing.

Before the upgrades, medical oncology patients waited for cancer treatments in the main hospital waiting area along with all patients and family who were registering for hospital services. Family or friends accompanying their loved ones during treatment didn’t have a comfortable place to take a break.

And the center – where patients spent long hours in treatment – looked “clinical,” not warm and nurturing. 

Renovations planned to respect the needs of patients and their families – body, mind and spirit.

Now, patients and families check in each day right in the cancer center, and enjoy their own private waiting and respite space.

This large space with natural light includes a nourishment area for drinks and snacks, a flat-screen television which plays the “Care Channel,” combining peaceful scenes of nature with beautiful music that is a welcome alternative to commercial television. New decorating and comfortable furniture finish this restful space. 


"Given cancer patients' weakened immune systems and increased vulnerability to illnesses, the new private waiting space greatly increases patient satisfaction and safety, by meeting these patients' unique health needs," said Lisa A. Froemming, president and CEO of Columbia St. Mary's Foundation.

An adjacent exam room that had been used for non-oncology treatments was repurposed for medical oncology as a private room for blood draws. It received fresh paint, new curtains and new adjustable chairs ergonomically designed for the comfort and safety of both patients and staff during the procedures.

The entire center was repainted and new curtains were added in a soothing palette of sea foam and terra cotta colors to complement the new wood-grain floors. Heated, reclining infusion chairs make a long day of treatment a little more comfortable.

And the final touch was installation of a glowing back-lit “sky window” feature in the entry way, adding a gorgeous vista of a serene and tranquil lake view.

"We are so pleased to help improve the experience for our cancer patients, their families and their caregivers, with the vision and support of such thoughtful donors. Patients, families and staff have all shared their pleasure about the renovations to the cancer care area” said Froemming.  “We’re proud that, because of our donors’ vision and support, the physical setting now complements the exceptional care our patients receive at Columbia St. Mary’s.”


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