On June 8, 2018, approximately 200 people, including family members, friends and business associates of Skip Viragh; Johns Hopkins leadership; donors; art committee members; Under Armour representative Stacey Ullrich; and breast and ovarian cancer program co-director Vered Stearns celebrated the opening of the new Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Building, home to the Under Armour Breast Health Innovation Center.
When Stearns first met with Ullrich, head of global philanthropy for Under Armour, to discuss a Kimmel Cancer Center partnership with the athletic apparel company, she described a place that would pull together all breast health services under one roof, creating a superior experience and delivering the most innovative care in the world.
This unique center delivers on this vision and more. “When we learned of Skip Viragh’s gift, we sought to merge these two moments together and bring it to life,” says Ullrich. “The Under Armour Breast Health Innovation Center is built with the principle that wellness and illness can exist together. This floor— this entire building—will empower people to continue to do it better, to be survivors.”
The Under Armour Breast Health Innovation Center, located on the 10th floor of the Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Building, provides a complete experience for breast cancer patients and gynecologic cancer patients, bringing together the best clinical and supportive care in one location and accelerating research. It is also home to the Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Multi-Disciplinary Clinic, where as many as 40 experts partner with patients to develop treatment and supportive care plans.
It wouldn’t have been possible without Under Armour, Stearns says.
“Working with Under Armour, we were able to integrate wellness with breast cancer care from diagnosis to after treatment, creating an unparalleled experience in a peaceful and motivating space for our breast cancer patients,” says Stearns. “A cancer education room offers videos, print materials, seminars on breast health, nutrition and healthy lifestyle that can be shared worldwide through social media.”
The Under Armour Breast Health Innovation Center also offers a number of unique features, not the least of which is its beautiful window-filled space with panoramic views of the Baltimore skyline. A physical medicine and rehabilitation room provides patients the opportunity to consult with a rehabilitative medicine expert to receive a plan to help reduce the physical effects of treatment and engage in physical and occupational therapy. One-of-a-kind artwork features patient illustrations that turn challenging diagnoses into beautiful stories of hope and inspiration. Photos of iconic Maryland scenery, captured by Skyview Photos,—an entrepreneurial group of Baltimore City middle schoolers in collaboration with Crossroads School, Living Classrooms and Under Armour—also bring life to the space.
For patients undergoing mastectomy, a nipple tattoo room brings the work of tattoo artist Vinnie Myers—internationally recognized for realistic, 3D nipple tattoos that incorporate every anatomical detail— to patients completing their breast reconstruction process.
“Kevin Plank [Under Armour CEO] tells us to dream big and never forget our mission,” says Ullrich. “So many Under Armour teammates were involved with the planning and design of this space, and we thought about the entire experience, from the floor to wall coverings and photos to the colors and even the chairs.”
Ullrich says they wanted to help create a superior experience for patients and families while facilitating the most innovative care in the world. “Dr. Stearns envisioned it. The patient and families built it,” she says.