Saint Alphonsus Nampa Cancer Care

Nampa, Idaho / 2020

The Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Nampa Cancer Institute was designed to provide comfort to patients and their families during treatment. The space was previously home to the emergency department which added a unique opportunity for an outdoor treatment space under the existing ambulance bay.

Infusion bays, where patients sit while receiving chemotherapy, are all oriented westward and adjacent to an open seating area with a fireplace. Surrounding the fireplace are sweeping views to the exterior patio and plaza. Translucent artwork panels have been integrated into the window system to provide a balance between natural light, patient privacy, and soothing natural imagery as the clinic has limited wall space for typical artwork displays. Beyond the artwork panel is the reinvigorated ambulance bay, now a plaza and patio designed for year-round use with heat lamps. The additional privacy screening and plantings allow patients and family members options while waiting and receiving treatment.

The infusion bay stations are built to accommodate mobile medical charting and station supply storage reducing the need for nurses to leave for supplies or cart them back and forth, this in turn provides a clutter free treatment space. The dedicated pharmacy for cancer patients has reduced floor to floor travel for staff, allowing more of their time to be spent on patient care. This makes care efficient and more focused.

Typical linear accelerator vaults have a maze-like hallway to separate radiated and non-radiated spaces. This long dark hallway, while using up valuable clinical space, poses difficulty for patients with varying levels of energy and can feel intimidating to patients as they enter the maze. The new linear accelerator vault in this facility has a large heavily shielded sliding door with a softened laminated finish instead of the conventional metal swinging door. Once inside the room the patient’s eye is drawn to a large backlit mountain scene taking their focus off the equipment in the room while creating a warm and calm environment.

During the design phase the regional population affected by cancer grew more than anticipated, which required further adaption of the space, and reaffirmed the need for more facilities like this. The success of the Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Nampa Cancer Institute can be measured by the improvement in patient comfort and quality, efficiency of treatment, and amount of treatment the clinic is able to provide.