Marlene Neely Center for Digestive Health

  • area / size 16,000 sqft
  • Completed 2018
  • UPHEALING worked along side the internal team at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts to enhance the Marlene Neely Center with thoughtful care and design.

    The renovation is a phased project that expands patient services for gastrointestinal cancer preventative care and treatment. When we were approached by our client to consider a new entrance and donor wall for the Marlene Neely Center for Digestive Health, we were a bit apprehensive. We questioned how we could design something highly personal within the confines of a hospital. We worked with Cam Neely and his wife to find ways to express the warmth and character of Cam’s mother, Marlene.

    Marlene was an elegant, kind and thoughtful person and a nurturing, loving mother. Our approach to the design of the entrance began with Marlene as if she were greeting people at the door. We wanted people to feel at ease and welcomed, and so our first step was to break away from the repetitive and sterile entrances along the corridor. We angled the entrance to soften the approach to the Center, creating a recess to view a glass feature wall etched with her image and signature, and a beautiful poem written by her grandson. Marlene had an affinity for Hawaii as it was the place she felt most relaxed. To convey a feeling of nature and serenity, we selected a background image of water, a wallcovering that resembles shells, and a large unfinished stone slab along the base of the entrance wall. Perhaps the simplest touch is the display of a fIower, representing how elegant and beautiful someone can be while feeling vulnerable and fragile while going through cancer.

    This new center enhances the patient experience through expanded services with a focus on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal illnesses. In particular, the center provides quality access to gastrointestinal cancer preventative care and treatment.

    The center was designed by patients, families and staff to be efficient and patient-focused. It allows our teams to provide one convenient, accessible location for all GI services including clinical exams, screening colonoscopies and complex GI procedures like Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP).

    Interior DesignUPHEALING
    Photography: Anton Grassl