Research and Due Diligence Helped ThedaCare and HGA Create an Exceptional Holistic Cancer Care Center

Posted by on Nov 12, 2020 in Featured Artists and Inspirations
Research and Due Diligence Helped ThedaCare and HGA Create an Exceptional Holistic Cancer Care Center

Healthcare Design is similar to most industries in the sense that up-front research and due diligence leads to the most thoughtful and efficient outcome. ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center, located in Appleton, Wisconson was designed with the patient’s emotional wellbeing in mind. In order to achieve this, HGA, a national multidisciplinary design firm -with the help of ThedaCare, Patients, Caregivers, and Family Members came together to learn about the services and amenities they wanted.

Exceptional Design Comes From Informative Research

There are a lot of factors that come into play when creating a patient-centered healthcare facility that accommodates the needs of all stakeholders. In this case, one of the TheadaCare Foundation Board Member’s wife had recently passed away from cancer. This personal experience led him to offer valuable insight into her journey. The board member spoke collectively for patients, survivors, and families, informing the design team on all aspects of the design.

In addition to the Board Member’s first hand experience, ThedCare and HGA sent out surveys to patients, caregivers and family members to learn about the services and amenities they wanted.

The planning team followed-up with a series of visioning sessions that allowed staff members and caregivers to identify important milestones in the patient’s journey.

Each time a new concept was envisioned, the design team held a town hall meeting in the Fox Valley region to further gather insight and feedback from the community.

Based on the feedback from the visioning sessions, the staff and patient surveys, and the personal account given by the Board Member, ThedaCare and HGA integrated several design features in their plan.

Design Features

  • Access to Meadows, Wetlands, and Forest
  • Seasonal Plantings
  • Walking Paths and Courtyards
  • A Canopied Drop-off Area Where an Assigned Greeter Meets the Patient and Their Family
  • Architectural Materials and Textures That Are Reminiscent of Natural Wood and Stone
  • Abundant Windows and Glass that Let Plenty of Daylight In
  • Two-Story Atrium Featuring Familiar Regional Materials
  • Comfortable Seating Arrangements with Views of the Landscaped Campus
  • Decorative Glass Bead Ceiling
  • Specialty Lighting Customizable By the Patient
  • Private Infusion Courtyard with Views of Nature
  • Private and Communal Infusion Bays
  • Seating and Tables for Family Members
  • A Therapy Dog that Brightens Patients’ Experience

From the start, physicians and staff were involved in the planning process. Their input led the design team to create a collaboration space to facilitate interaction between the physician and clinical teams. Here, healthcare providers have access to open workstations that include sit-to-stand desks and customizable space that supports research, teamwork, and focus.

The Collaboration Space wouldn’t be complete without exterior views to wetlands and sculptural skylights that provide energizing daylight and help staff stay connected to nature further supporting their wellbeing.

Conscientious Design

ThedaCare and HGA prove that conscientious design pays off. When it comes to our jobs and healthcare design, we all want to do the right thing and create the best design. ThedaCare and HGA understood that in order to do the right thing, they must prioritize research. They listened to the clients first hand to learn. They envisioned the design and then went back to learn more. Their research and design process helped them conceive an extraordinary cancer care treatment center that is efficient, effective, and exceptional.


Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped develop modern design for healthcare organizations locally, regionally and internationally. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff


“ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center.” HGA,

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