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UMMC begins construction on $219M cancer treatment center expansion

A rendering of the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine. Courtesy of the University of Maryland Medical Center.

The University of Maryland Medical Center is expanding its cancer treatment capacity with a new, nine-story addition to its downtown campus that broke ground Friday afternoon. 

The 198,000-square-foot tower, which will be known as the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine, will become the new home for the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, also known as UMGCCC.  

The Stoler Center will aim to accommodate the growing demand for cancer treatment, especially the treatment of complicated cancers that require more specialized and multidisciplinary care, that UMMC and other health care providers have seen in recent years; a 2018 estimate projected that outpatient visits would increase 54% between then and 2028. 

The $219 million expansion will include “cutting-edge cellular immunotherapies and personalized treatments tailored to a patient’s individual cancer and genetic profile,” according to an UMMC press release. It will also include several new facilities, including an urgent care center that will allow 24/7 access to cancer patients, a cancer pharmacy, a cell-processing lab and a new infusion center, which will feature 48 private treatment spaces. 

Patient rooms within the facility were designed to improve the patient’s comfort and experience, incorporating sleeping accommodations for patients’ families and caregivers and features to minimize disruptions from routine hospital functions like trash collection. 

HDR, an Omaha-based architecture firm with an office in Baltimore, was the designer on the project, while Clark Construction, which is based in Bethesda, will build the tower. Delivery of the building is set for mid-2025.  

Mohan Suntha, the University of Maryland Medical System’s CEO and president as well as a radiation oncologist at UMGCCC, celebrated the expansion in the press release.  

“The Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center has long been a major resource for residents of our state and region, with a rich history of providing compassionate care to cancer patients and leading cutting-edge research studies that advance the science,” he said. “This expansion will carry the cancer center well into the next decade, providing it with the tools to handle the increasing demand and build on its reputation as one of the world’s premier cancer centers.” 

UMMC is currently raising money for the Stoler Center’s construction. Through its largest ever philanthropic effort, the Build for Life campaign, which first began in 2018, UMMC has already raised $51.4 million of its $55 million goal through the contributions of 130 donors.  

UMMC is aiming to raise the remaining $3.6 million through donations from the public, launching the public phase of the campaign on Friday in conjunction with the groundbreaking. The rest of the project is being funded by private donations, UMMC capital funds, and $100 million from the state of Maryland through Gov. Larry Hogan’s $216 million Cancer Moonshot initiative. Hogan himself was treated for lymphoma at UMGCCC in 2015. 

The building is named for Roslyn and Leonard Stoler, who donated $25 million towards the expansion. 

“Patient volumes have grown significantly over the years, yet the physical space of the cancer center has stayed the same. The Building for Life Campaign addresses UMGCCC’s urgent need to expand patient care and advance critical areas of cancer research,” William Kirwan, a UMMC board member and the campaign’s chair, said in a press release. “The campaign will impact the lives of untold thousands for years to come.” 

As one of only two National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in Maryland, UMMC treats around 3,000 cancer patients annually. UMGCCC’s research footprint has also grown in recent years, with its research funding now totaling over $100 million.