Swedish/Edmonds opens state-of-the-art cancer center
Swedish Health Services opened the doors April 1 on its new outpatient cancer center in Edmonds. The center was built in response to a growing need for medical oncology and infusion (chemotherapy) services locally.
Swedish has provided a two-story 17,102-square-foot facility that will care for as many as 175 patients a day while providing increased access to cancer-care services.
“The number of people turning to Swedish/Edmonds for their cancer treatment has grown over the last decade,” said Richard McGee, M.D., one of five Swedish Cancer Institute medical oncologists who will practice at the new center. “This new facility will allow us to offer enhanced care to a growing population.”
Swedish says the center, located at 21632 Highway 99 in Edmonds, will provide “high-quality and comprehensive medical oncology services to patients through an infusion unit, laboratory, pharmacy, and access to Swedish’s electronic medical record system.”
“The new facility will provide cancer-care services to everyone except children,” McGee said. “Starting at age 18 to 100.”
Patients will also have access to social work, support groups, American Cancer Society navigation and resources, financial counseling, cancer-specific patient education classes, and an education/resource wall.
“Providing excellent care starts with improving access,” said Thomas D. Brown, M.D., MBA, executive director of Swedish Cancer Institute. “The new center will help ensure patients have continued convenient access to the highest quality cancer care available.”
Community support has helped fund a portion of the $10.9 million center.
Many community and business leaders have united to expand cancer services at Swedish/Edmonds, raising $220,000 for the project.
Swedish says philanthropy will continue to play a key role in “helping ensure local patients facing a cancer diagnosis have access to the highest quality of care, the best technologies, and a broad spectrum of support services.”
“By year’s end, we’ll have a new radiation machine,” McGee said. “The old one will remain in place as a back-up.”
With new equipment and more space, a larger number of people can receive cancer-care closer to home without traveling frequently to further locations.
For now, the same five medical oncologists at Swedish/Edmonds will be staffing the new center, along with a supply staff of around 30.
“It’s a net even for personnel,” McGee said. “The gain is more space, along with ancillary services, the pharmacy is upgraded significantly and medical records will be upgraded significantly.”
The pharmacy does not dispense prescriptions to patients but handles the chemotherapy drugs used at the center.
It also contains a clean room for mixing the chemotherapy drugs, with negative pressure hoods to remove any fumes present.
“The pharmacy handles lots of toxic stuff in the chemotherapy drugs,” McGee said. “This makes sure it doesn’t get released in the air.”
There’s also a new three-bay lab with some pretty amazing equipment.
“The blood chemistry machine will be on demand,” McGee said. “We can have a 90-second turnaround on some blood counts; a Complete Blood Count (CBC) takes just 20 minutes.”
The facility features care suits, which allow for private counseling, payments and integrated care services; as well as an American Cancer Society “Navigator” which helps provide ACS services and programs.
Not quite so noticeable is the uniqueness of the actual building itself.
A design-build firm, RAD Technology Medical Systems, collaborated with design architects Perkins + Will to develop the modular building comprised of 29 factory-built units, which were erected on the site over just two days in December of last year. The units were constructed at a site in Monroe.
“This project is exciting for numerous reasons. One of those is that later this year Swedish will enhance cancer-care services at the Edmonds campus by starting construction on a vault to house a new $4.95 million linear accelerator for radiation therapy that will go into use in late 2013,” said David Jaffe, chief executive of Swedish/Edmonds.
“Another huge advantage of the new center is that it will bring state-of-the-art cancer care closer to home, which makes a real difference for patients and their families.”
The new cancer center at Swedish/Edmonds will open for community tours from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17.