The Importance of Healing Design Among Oncology Centers

Oncology is medicine that deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Today, Oncologists see up to 20-30 patients each day. On top of that, it is estimated that in 2019, there will be over 1.7 million new cancer diagnosis in the United States. The impact of healing design among oncology centers has never been more important.

Healing Design

Healing Design has become the most essential element in designing cancer centers today and for good reason. Imagine leaving the doctor’s office with a diagnosis of cancer. As a designer, it is important to understand the magnitude of such diagnosis and be involved in the journey of the patients, cater to their care, their families and the beloved staff that will help them along the way.

Healing Design is driven by evidence-based research that puts the focus on patients’ and their environment. Patients should be able to devote their energies to getting well without having to fight their environments. Along the same lines, nurses and doctors should be able to go to work each day and not worry about getting sick or injured because of the design of the environment. Ultimately, Evidence-based design provides solutions that improve the desired outcome for the patients, the staff, hospital administration and all the remaining stakeholders.

Case Study: Saint Mary’s Oncology & Women’s Center – Reno, Nevada

Deborah Brandt from Brandt Design Group. Inc, acted as a consultant to Mascari Warner Architects in San Diego. The project was St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center located in Reno, Nevada.

Saint Mary’s provides patients superior cancer care, offering a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program with a philosophy of healing patients. Their integrated treatment plan is tailored to each individual. This successful approach to care has distinguished them as an excellent provider of cancer care.

Promoting Wellness through Interior Design

When the design team, Mascari Warner Architects and Brandt Design Group began the project they knew the importance of promoting wellness through their design. Specifically, their goal was in create a unique experience for patients and go the extra mile to understand the needs of the patient and their staff.

Ultimately the goal was to deliver a high-tech facility with soft, healing touches. You can see the images here. Imagine gazing into the nighttime sky and counting stars. Possibly locating the Big Dipper…. a good way to provide positive distractions.  This is possible while receiving radiation treatments in the high-tech facility.

Project Requirements

  • Space Planning
  • Interior Architectural Design/Detailing
  • Finishes, Furniture, Fabric Selections
  • Artwork Selection & Coordination

General Contractor

  • Q&D Construction, Inc.

The Outcome – Award Winning Environment for Care

The Leapfrog Group awarded Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center their fifth consecutive A-grade for Hospital Patient Safety and named them a Top Hospital for the second year in a row. Healthgrades has recognized Saint Mary’s for Patient Safety Excellence™ two years in a row, putting them among the Top 5% of hospitals in the Nation. With 4-Star Overall Hospital rating from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid, they’re also the highest-rated acute-care hospital in Nevada.

The Impact of Healing Design

Healthcare organizations are under intense pressure to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery. Implementing Healing Design techniques can have a huge impact on performance outcomes. This presents an opportunity for healthcare designers to help meet the challenges ahead by building an environment that improves patient and staff experience, all while enhancing the bottom line.

See additional Brandt Design Group Projects

Deborah Brandt is the founder of Brandt Design Group. The award-winning design firm offers high-quality interior design solutions with an emphasis on healthcare design. Deborah Brandt believes that the most important aspect of healthcare design is to create a caring, effective, safe, and patient-centered environment. She can be reached by email or phone.


“Saint Mary’s Center for Cancer.” Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center,