Late last month, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance received an official welcome into the Issaquah community as Chamber of Commerce members led a ribbon cutting ceremony for its clinic in the second floor of the Highmark Medical Center Building (located at about 17th Avenue Northwest and Northwest Maple Street).
Since opening its doors on April 1, the SCCA clinic has seen some 40 patients from the city and the surrounding area.
“It’s impressive, considering that we opened the doors with no patients on our schedule,” SCCA medical director Dr. Jennie Crews said.
“There wasn’t a patient panel that we inherited from any current practice, so we were going out there starting fresh. The fact that we’re rapidly growing and serving more patients is really a testament to the SCCA brand and the quality of care that our physicians provide.”
Lisa Newell of North Bend was the clinic’s first patient, and attended the ribbon cutting event. Since her diagnosis of Stage IV breast cancer in April 2006, Newell has been commuting to SCCA’s South Lake Union facility for oncology care.
Newell said that Dr. Jason Lukas, who heads the new clinic, worked with her regular oncologist to craft a “share care” program, enabling her to receive treatments in Issaquah without having to drop her provider in Seattle.
For Newell, and for her sons who have grown up watching their mother receive care at the same place from the same familiar faces, the share care solution is just one of many small things SCCA has done to prioritize patients.
“SCCA always works as a team anyways, so it’s a nice addition to my team, is the way I look at it,” she said.
The Issaquah clinic maintains a universal room, also known as a flex room, which operates on the idea that a patient visiting an oncology center can have every level of care — be it lab draws, general consultations, physical exams, or chemotherapy infusions — brought to them instead of being shuffled from room to room.
“The reason that we’re in Issaquah is so patients can have access to care from one of the top cancer care centers in the nation, closer to their home,” Crews said. “We hadn’t had a presence in the Greater Seattle Area before, so we wanted to expand our services.”