News Releases

Olympic Medical Center to Partner with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

North Olympic Peninsula medical center becomes first SCCA network affiliate

PORT ANGELES, WA — Dec. 19, 2001 — Olympic Medical Center's Board of Commissioners will vote this evening on a proposed partnership with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for a comprehensive, community-based cancer care program that will enhance oncology services for North Olympic Peninsula residents.

Olympic Medical is seeking a partner for coordination, integration and expansion of cancer care treatment, and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is establishing a network of affiliations with community-based cancer care providers throughout the Northwest; Olympic Medical would become the first such network affiliation.

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is a collaboration of three world renowned institutions — Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center. The Alliance operates a cancer hospital and an outpatient diagnostic and treatment center for cancer patients in Seattle. Through the Alliance, patients have access to the latest research-based cancer therapies developed by the partner organizations, including treatments for a number of malignant and non-malignant diseases. Local physicians will be able to refer patients to experts with years of oncology-care experience, combined with the latest medical technology.

"We are thrilled to be taking this opportunity to the Board of Commissioners," said Olympic Medical Center Administrator Mike Glenn. "To be able to partner with a world-class organization that includes The Hutchinson Center, UW and Children's, is a big leap forward in health care for Peninsula residents."

The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance outpatient clinic opened in January, bringing to the region one of the most state-of-the-art such facilities in the nation. The Alliance ultimately hopes to have partnerships like the one being proposed with Olympic Medical all around the region. "A major objective of the Alliance is to work collaboratively with regional providers to transfer new diagnostic and treatment techniques more rapidly from clinical research settings to various communities," said Norm Hubbard, Chief Operating Officer of the Alliance. "This will greatly advance the standard of cancer care available throughout the Pacific Northwest."

"We see Olympic Medical Center as an ideal partner. They have an excellent staff of talented professionals, as well as the most up-to-date technical facilities. Equally important, they share our passion for eliminating cancer," said Hubbard.

Currently Olympic Medical provides medical, surgical and radiation oncology [cancer] services. Both medical and surgical oncology provision is referral-based through medical staff relationships. Radiation oncology is provided at the Olympic Medical Radiation Oncology Center in Sequim. Glenn said that he expects the transition from Virginia Mason, the current provider of radiation oncology services, to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, to take approximately six months. Meanwhile, no change in patient services is expected. Glenn offered that he sees medical and surgical oncology services growing with the new partnership.

Glenn added that improving cancer care services is particularly important because of the area's large and growing elderly population. Clallam County ranks 3rd among Washington counties in percent of elderly at 21.5 percent, compared to the state average of 11.2 percent. "We see nearly 400 new cancer cases annually," said Glenn, "in particular breast, lung, prostate, colorectal and bladder cancers. This supports the need for additional oncology services in our area."

Media Contacts
Susan Edmonds
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
(206) 667-2896
sedmonds@fhcrc.org

Rhonda LoPresti
Olympic Medical Center
(360) 417-7780
rlopresti@olympicmedical.org

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of two Nobel Prize laureates, is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical technology to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. Fred Hutchinson receives more funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other independent U.S. research center. Recognized internationally for its pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation, the center's four scientific divisions collaborate to form a unique environment for conducting basic and applied science. Fred Hutchinson, in collaboration with its clinical and research partners, the University of Washington Academic Medical Center and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest and is one of 38 nationwide. For more information, visit the center's Web site at www.fhcrc.org.

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), UW Medicine, and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center (CHRMC) formed the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) to unite the oncology-related patient-care services of these organizations.

Olympic Medical Center
Olympic Medical Center is a comprehensive health care provider for 64,500 residents of Clallam County. It provides inpatient services at its 126-bed acute care facility, outpatient services at a dozen locations throughout the region, and operates a 125-bed skilled nursing facility.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.