Overlake Hospital joins Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Dr. Nicholas Kovach - Contributed photo
Dr. Nicholas Kovach
— image credit: Contributed photo

Overlake Hospital Medical Center has joined the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Network to become the first major medical center in the Seattle area, and the eighth community health care facility in Washington and Alaska to enter into an affiliation agreement with the alliance.

The SCCA Network provides a structured program for supporting community-based oncology services, such as continuing medical education and arranging for local patients to enroll in clinical trials managed by qualified community researchers.

Overlake staff are accustomed to collaborating with SCCA organizations in an unofficial capacity, but the new agreement makes it easier to gain access to their programs, according to Dr. Nicholas Kovach, chairman of the Overlake Cancer Committee.

“We are very pleased to team with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance,” said Craig Hendrickson, president and CEO of Overlake. “This affiliation will give our patients greatly expanded access to the SCCA’s important clinical research trials right here on the Overlake campus, along with opportunities to benefit from the expertise of the alliance’s world-class oncology specialists.”

Overlake will also work with the SCCA to develop survivorship services for patients on the Eastside, harnessing the SCCA’s expertise in survivorship services and research, and benefiting from its work with the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

The Cancer Center at Overlake treated more than 1,100 new patients in 2008. Overlake is one of only 10 hospitals in Washington state that has received a three-year approval with commendation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

Noting that University of Washington physicians already provide radiation oncology services at Overlake and that its patients come to the SCCA for stem-cell transplantation, “Overlake’s affiliation with our network expands on and formalizes an existing and excellent working relationship,” said Norm Hubbard, the SCCA’s executive vice president. “We welcome Overlake and look forward to a productive affiliation that will benefit its cancer patients, physicians and staff.”

The agreement with Overlake means that the SCCA will collaborate with community providers on the Eastside to ensure the availability of state-of-the-art oncology services in an efficient and effective setting; support the development of community cancer treatment programs; support continuing medical education training for oncology physicians, nurses and other allied health professionals on the Eastside; and promote availability to patients of SCCA physician-led clinical trials.

The other members of the SCCA Network are Cascade Cancer Center, Kirkland; Clinic Cancer Care, Great Falls, Mont.; Multicare Regional Cancer Center, Tacoma; Olympic Medical Center, Port Angeles; Providence Alaska Medical Center, Anchorage; Skagit Valley Hospital, Mount Vernon; and Wenatchee Valley Medical Center, Wenatchee.

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance was established in 1998 and unites the adult and pediatric cancer-care services of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s.

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