The Story Behind the Building—The Judi and Bill Leonard Cancer Institute

Part of our mission at Beck Technology is to—in the words of our president, Stewart Carroll—“revolutionize the industry and change the world.” Sounds like a pretty tall order, right?

We don’t necessarily disagree. It’s a pretty ambitious goal, and when you’re looking at the industry from the inside out, it doesn’t even feel particularly realistic. It’s not always easy to see how everyday tasks like laying brick, taking measurements, or estimating the costs of labor and material can have an impact on the communities we live in.

But you don’t have to look too far to see how important these seemingly mundane tasks are, and how they can help shape the world we live in for either the better or the worse. We spend the majority of our lives in buildings: waking up in our homes, traveling to our offices, eating and catching up with friends at our favorite restaurants, taking care of our health in hospitals and doctors’ offices. The construction industry plays a powerful role in determining the future of big concepts like the quality of life and environmental sustainability.

inside the Leonard Cancer Institute Secondary treatments at the Leonard Cancer Institute include massage, acupuncture, Tai Chi, meditation, and more.

To see just how construction companies can transform the places we spend our lives in, let’s take a look at the recent work of one of our customers, Snyder Langston.

The St. Joseph Health Mission Hospital Judi and Bill Leonard Cancer Institute

Based out of Irvine, California, Snyder Langston is a highly respected general contractor with several decades’ worth of projects spanning multiple sectors under their belt. One of their most recently completed projects is the Judi and Bill Leonard Cancer Institute located in Mission Viejo, California, a city that lies just about fifteen minutes south of Irvine.

This particular medical center, however, is as forward-thinking and innovative as the contractor that built it. The Leonard Cancer Institute specializes in a holistic approach to cancer care and is currently the “largest integrated cancer care network in Orange County.” The institute’s goal is to treat every aspect of the patient: mind, body, and soul. As a result, they offer some of the most cutting-edge technologies in the medical field when it comes to diagnosis, treatment, and integrative care.

The institute has access to robotic surgery technologies and provides patients with the opportunity to bring in complementary therapies such as yoga, therapeutic touch, acupuncture, and nutritional counseling. And speaking of counseling, the institute offers patients something called genetic counseling. What this means is that because the Leonard Institute is equipped with a molecular genomic testing laboratory, they are able to “perform advanced clinical sequencing promptly and affordably, without relying on an outside vendor.” In other words, patients receive treatment designed specifically for them and only them, down to the molecular level.

But perhaps most critically, the Leonard Institute doesn’t just focus on treating an existing illness—it also heavily emphasizes learning how to prevent such a terrible diagnosis from occurring in the first place. Genetic counseling plays a role in this: if someone has a family history of cancer, they can participate in research and other trial studies to determine common links and potential causes. The institute has established partnerships with other experts and cancer institutes across the country to detect illness earlier and ideally prevent it long before it has the chance to metastasize into a more devastating diagnosis.

None of this would be possible, however, if not for the innovative partner they found in Snyder Langston. This project required incredibly precise and detailed work from the company, including “substantial earthwork and retaining walls.” They also had to reconfigure roads and bring on design-build retaining systems, such as Mechanical Stabilized Earth Walls that go up to fifty-five feet, stylized to mesh with the existing design of Mission Viejo as a whole. For the institute’s interior, Snyder Langston was responsible for creating the “structural capacity for (3) interior modular linear accelator vaults totaling approximately 6.2M pounds.” They also created the institute’s highly regarded Wellness Center in addition to its Chapel, Lab, and Demonstration Kitchen, among many other stations within the institute.


Snyder Langston helped make it possible to save thousands of lives and maybe even one day eradicate many of the diagnoses that these patients are coming to the Leonard Institute to be treated for. Without a building to house them in, the institute wouldn’t be able to utilize all of the incredibly advanced technologies mentioned earlier, nor would they be able to offer a wide variety of integrative therapy. Snyder Langston’s work has truly transformed their community, and many of the advancements and discoveries made at the institute will likely go on to transform the world.

So, the next time you’re going into the office for another day of analyzing data and reworking estimates, don’t forget—your work might be making the impossible a reality.

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