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Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Opens Two Warm, Supportive Patient Centers: Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center and Family Resource Center - April 15, 2008


RATCLIFF Designs Comforting Environment for Patients and Families

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center celebrates the opening of two new health care areas designed to soothe patients and families navigating treatment options for life-threatening illnesses and to offer health resources. The Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center provides seamless delivery of screening and diagnostic procedures, all in one location, for the quickest turnaround in diagnosis and facilitating collaboration among various breast health specialists. The Family Resource Center and Markstein Cancer Education and Prevention Services offers patients, their family and friends a place to gather, gain knowledge, and combat the helplessness often associated with a loved one’s diagnosis. RATCLIFF designed both the 11,500-square-foot Breast Health Center and 4,500-square-foot Family Resource Center. Jain Malkin provided interior design services for the Breast Health Center.

Centrally located in the Providence Pavilion on the Summit Campus in Oakland, the Breast Health Center and Family Resource Center are just footsteps from the main entrance to ease way finding for patients and their families. Both areas were designed to augment modern healthcare delivery. Putting the Breast Health Center’s multiple services under one roof facilitates quicker diagnosis as well as constant communication among all of the various specialists—breast-imaging specialists, surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, and pathologists—and results in more collaborative treatment.

The Center includes:

  • Four digital mammography rooms, bone densitometry rooms, a stereotactic breast biopsy room, and two procedure rooms.
  • An efficient floor plan that separates patient and clinical spaces, allowing for diagnostic mammography to be completed at the rapid rate of one patient every six minutes.
  • An elevator with private access from the Center to surgery.
  • Accessible health services for women with disabilities, facilitated by the design input of Breast Health Access for Women with Disabilities (BHAWD), a program of Alta Bates Summit since 1995.

The Family Resource Center supports community education and outreach, with a focus on cancer screening programs. In a home-like environment, visitors have access to computers, books and other written materials on a variety of health issues. Two exam rooms, a conference room, and consultation area support the cancer screening efforts and the continuing education of Alta Bates Summit healthcare providers. Both centers utilize soothing interior treatments to comfort all who enter, including the warm brown and green earth tones of the Family Resource Center.

The Breast Health Center’s circular foyer has up-lighted recesses lined with mosaic blue and green glass tiles to give the impression of waterfalls. The sounds of flowing water help to augment the illusion. As patients move past the admitting desk, they enter a waiting room finished in a rich gold patina and highlighted by five large portraits of “Women of Distinction” by local international photographer Paolo Gianturco. On their way to dressing, diagnostic and treatment rooms, patients pass through another dramatic experience called “Faith’s Place,” which includes a portrait of Faith Fancher and recesses lined in gold glass tile. The foyer is dedicated to the memory of the former KTVU television news person who bravely chronicled her own breast cancer battle on air for Bay Area viewers, including her initial lumpectomy at Alta Bates Hospital in 1997.

“We wanted women to have a place to come to that is warm and nurturing,” says radiologist Ira Kanter, M.D., of the Breast Health Center. “Our aim is for the new center to be a place of healing and hope.”

Founded in 1906, RATCLIFF is the longest continually-operating architectural firm in the San Francisco Bay Area and winner of the AIA California Council 2005 Firm of the Year Award. The firm specializes in academic, healthcare, and civic facilities. RATCLIFF’s list of representative health care clients includes John Muir Medical Center, ValleyCare Health System, and Kaiser Permanente. The Emeryville, Calif., firm is recognized as one of Interior Design magazine’s Top 40 Healthcare Design Firms in the United States.

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center is a multi-campus regional acute care medical center with over 1,000 beds, 5,000 employees, and over 1,000 active physicians. Alta Bates Summit is recipient of a HealthGrades® 2007 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence, and ranked among the top 5% of hospitals in the nation. For the third time, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development recognized Alta Bates Summit as one of only three hospitals in the state to achieve better than expected outcomes in heart bypass surgery (2008).

Located in the heart of the San Francisco East Bay Area, Alta Bates Summit is part of Sutter Health, one of the nation’s leading not-for-profit networks of community health services. For more information about Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, visit their website at www.altabatessummit.org.