(BPT) - Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center (CBMC) - part of RWJBarnabas Health, the largest and most comprehensive academic healthcare system in New Jersey - is completely reimagining cancer care.

The Livingston, New Jersey-based facility recently broke ground on a five-story, 137,000-square-foot cancer center on its hospital campus. The $225 million, freestanding outpatient facility, scheduled for 2025 completion, will serve as the northern hub for the integrated oncology services offered by RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state's only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

This innovative care model is transforming the delivery of cancer services across New Jersey, bringing groundbreaking discoveries, clinical research and expertise from Rutgers Cancer Institute to patients close to home.

'The new Cancer Center at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center will be a regional destination for cancer care, building on the medical center's longstanding legacy of clinical expertise and compassionate, patient-centered diagnosis and treatment,' said Richard L. Davis, the hospital's President and CEO. 'We are celebrating the dawn of a new era in world-class cancer care.'

In alignment with the theme of Reimagining Cancer Care, the new center will feature medical, surgical and radiation oncology services under one roof - with holistic support services that include a wig and prosthetic studio, teaching kitchen, and yoga, Reiki and music therapy. The facility will include private infusion rooms and a calming garden terrace. Other amenities will include short-term and extended-stay treatment spaces where patients can go for treatments that may prevent a visit to the Emergency Department.

The new center's construction is part of the expansion of oncology services provided by RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, as well as an ongoing transformation of the medical campus. Playing a key role in the hospital's continued growth is the generosity of Leon and Toby Cooperman, who in 2021 made a historic $100 million gift to the medical center.

'We applaud the Cooperman Family Foundation for their longstanding support of our hospital and our entire community,' said Bruce Schonbraun, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at CBMC. 'Their extraordinary and selfless generosity has enabled this facility to expand its footprint and attract world-class physicians to bring the best healthcare available to northern New Jersey.'

'Breaking ground on a new Cancer Center at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center is the latest example of how RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey are reimagining cancer care for the communities we serve,' added Steven K. Libutti, M.D., Director of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Senior Vice President, Oncology Services at RWJBarnabas Health.

'Together, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state's only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, are transforming cancer services in the region - bringing the latest discoveries and extraordinary, comprehensive cancer care close to home,' Dr. Libutti added.

The medical center's partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey gives patients access to the most advanced treatment options, including immunotherapy, blood and marrow transplantation, CAR T-cell therapy and clinical trials, many of which are not available elsewhere. Patients no longer need to travel far for the latest, most scientifically advanced treatments.

'A cancer diagnosis is life-changing, and for many patients and their families, it is the beginning of a long and sometimes daunting journey,' said Michael Scoppetuolo, M.D., Medical Director of the Cancer Center at CBMC. 'To that end, I am excited about the research and the top-quality patient care that will take place at this new center. We have an extraordinary medical staff and access to clinical trials and research which sets us apart from other institutions in the state and puts us at the leading edge.'

'Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center already offers exceptional cancer care with some of the most advanced and comprehensive care in the state,' said Alison Grann, M.D., Chair of the hospital's Department of Radiation Oncology. 'This new building will provide the physical environment to match the clinical excellence. This best-in-class, freestanding cancer center will provide the highest-quality science, treatment and psychosocial services available, distinguishing it from other centers in the region.'

Russell Langan, M.D., FACS, Chief of Surgical Oncology & Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, further emphasized the benefits of having one multidisciplinary location for patients to receive care. 'When you have clinicians together under one roof to meet regularly and collaborate, along with integrated services, you are providing peace of mind, greater convenience and a better experience for the patient. Moreover, in addition to providing this improved peace of mind, the multi-team environment this cancer center will create will also result in better clinical outcomes.'

Beyond oncology, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center has a longstanding reputation for excellence. It operates one of the largest kidney transplant and living donor programs in the nation, New Jersey's only certified Burn Center, and has received Magnet recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center for Nursing Excellence. The 597-bed medical center was recently named Best Regional Hospital by U.S. News & World Report and high performing in treating Colon Cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Diabetes, Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, and Gastroenterology and GI Surgery.

'For well over a century, this medical center has been committed to providing compassionate care, healthcare excellence, and superior service to our patients and their families,' said Mr. Davis. 'As we expand our services with facilities like this one, we remain unwaveringly focused on that mission.'

More information about the new center is available online, at rwjbh.org/cbmccancercenter.