Calgary’s new cancer centre is on track to open in late 2023. But for those at the forefront of cancer research, it can’t happen soon enough.
“I can’t emphasize this enough: cancer science these days, it’s patient focused, but it’s technology-driven and data-driven team science,” said Dr. Jennifer Chan, director of the Arnie Charbonneau cancer institute, which is currently split between the University of Calgary and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.
Soon those teams will have a new facility that merges patient care and research: the Calgary Cancer Centre.
On Friday, Premier Jason Kenney announced the $1.4B project is now 90 per cent complete, and is slated to open on time and on budget.
“We’re on schedule to complete construction of the Calgary Cancer Centre in the fall of 2022, a year from now, another great reason to be optimistic about the year ahead in Alberta.”
Chan said the new building will drastically change the way her and her team do their work.
“Patients of the Tom Baker already have top notch care. But by increasing this space, we’re really going to double our capacity to do that, you know, to deliver that top notch… state-of-the-art care.”
Chan and her colleagues have been involved in the planning, and she said it’s the details that will make all the difference for doctors and patients.
“There are wellness spaces, there’s a garden in them, in the middle. And, you know, for researchers too there are more points of interaction between researchers.”
Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda admits this final stretch won’t be easy, and the province is keeping an eye on supply chain concerns when it comes to equipment and furniture.
“We got most of it, but there could be last-minute differences here and there,” he said. “We’re trying to eliminate that risk.”
The final months of construction will be focused on installing equipment before going through several levels of cleaning and sanitizing.
Alberta Health Services will then take over in the fall of 2022 to do the final setup before it’s officially opened in late 2023.