Innovative Social Programming a Mainstay at Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas

Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center has a striking façade. Rising ten stories above the medical campus below, the 460,000 square foot facility with its distinctive curved glass curtain wall stands as a fitting testament to the innovative medical research and care provided inside. The building’s construction and daily operations also represent groundbreaking advancements in sustainability and environmental awareness.

It’s a facility that has garnered numerous environmental awards and accolades, including a prestigious LEED Gold certification. With an ENERGY STAR certification and designation as an IREM Certified Sustainable Property (CSP), the building sets a new standard for sustainability for a facility of its size and function.

Over 650 people, from world-renowned medical specialists to nurses and medical assistants to administrative and facility management staff, report to Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center for work each day, and they all share one common goal: to create an environment centered on wellness, support, and education for patients with cancer, family members, and visitors. While that means, first and foremost, providing excellent healthcare, it also means cultivating the types of physical spaces, programming, and support services necessary to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of battling cancer.

Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center makes use of its stunning 10th-floor conference center to host over 50 events per week, ranging from patient and family support groups, to financial and social work resources, to healthy cooking classes, exercise and meditation programs, and music and art therapy sessions. The main lobby and second-floor common areas are also routinely used—without charge—for community and patient events.

Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center also collects yarn—lots of it—as part of an innovative service project to bring warmth and comfort to the facility’s patients. Each winter, on behalf of the property’s owners, Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE: DOC), the property management team collaborates with Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center staff and the nonprofit organization Passing Hats to collect yarn. Medical providers, patients, visitors, and vendors from throughout the facility collect yarn donations within their respective areas, and volunteers utilize the contributions to knit hats for patients battling cancer. The “hat tree” displaying these cheerful creations—free of charge—has become a permanent fixture in the building’s lobby, with additional hat baskets in many of the building’s offices and public spaces. Over 3,200 patients to date have been able to enjoy a free handmade hat courtesy of this collaborative yarn project.

“Collecting yarn from our healthcare workers, patients, and even some of the suppliers that provide services to the building has been a colorful way to support our patients during the holidays,” Susan Leinweaver, DOC Senior Property Manager, said. “Often the yarn is delivered with a story, like a visitor bringing yarn in memory of their mom who enjoyed knitting. Or it’s a contribution from a healthcare worker who knows first-hand how helpful it is for a warm hat to be available for their patients undergoing cancer treatment. We even had a patient bring in a bag so full of yarn that we had to drag it to the collection point together. Seeing our community rally around such a meaningful cause has been especially rewarding.”

The annual yarn collection, while a mainstay of Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center’s programming and a visible reminder of the facility’s genuine commitment to health and wellness, is just one thread in the larger tapestry of ongoing programming. The close relationship between DOC staff and the onsite property management team has led to many other innovative programming ideas and events to serve Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center’s patient base and broader Dallas community, including:

  • Through a collaboration with BOMA Greater Dallas, a toiletry and school supply drive to benefit numerous Dallas-area nonprofit organizations
  • A “Coffee with a Cop” event to strengthen the relationships between building staff, visitors, and local security personnel, creating a safer and healthier environment for all who utilize the facility
  • A GivingTuesday clothing drive to benefit a local women’s shelter
  • Annual therapeutic goat yoga sessions for Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center’s healthcare tenants
  • Lunch & Learns on a variety of health and wellness topics, including fire safety
  • A breast cancer awareness “Pink-Out” month celebration

“Across our portfolio, we strive to embody our ‘Invest in Better’ mission by prioritizing the health and wellness of all who come through the doors at our properties,” Mark Dukes, DOC Vice President of Asset Management, said. “We’re so proud of the innovative programming we’ve been able to create together at Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center alongside our healthcare providers. We look forward to continuing this rich partnership in the months and years to come on behalf of Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center’s staff, patients, and visitors.”

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