Olympic Medical Center breaks ground on cancer center expansion

Strategic planning set

The Olympic Medical Center Board of Commissioners will get a 2018-2020 Strategic Plan update from OMC CEO Eric Lewis and accept public input in a community forum regarding OMC’s 2019-2021 plan, at the commissioners’ next regularly scheduled meeting, set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, in Linkletter Hall at Olympic Memorial Hospital, 939 Caroline St., Port Angeles. Other agendas include a first quarter 2019 update and an operations and advocacy update.

Ground breaks

The ground is officially broken and much of the concrete and rebar is in place, but local health care officials say the foundation for the major expansion of Olympic Medical Cancer Center in Sequim came directly from the community.

“We asked for community donations and they gave more than $1.2 million,” Olympic Medical Center CEO Eric Lewis said. “Out of a $4.4 million project, a big chunk of that came from community members.”

Bruce Skinner, Olympic Medical Center Foundation’s executive director, said 282 local residents contributed to the capital campaign.

OMC leaders and others celebrated the kickoff of the expansion with a ceremonial groundbreaking on April 16, but workers from the Poulsbo-based JMG Constructors LLC were hard at work in days and weeks prior, adding the infrastructure for what OMC officials say is a significant expansion particularly for the OMCC facility’s pharmacy and medical oncology services.

“The main focus (with the expansion) is the pharmacy,” OMCC director Dean Putt said last week. “There will be a lot more space to mix.”

The 3,700-square-foot expansion boasts both hazardous and non-hazardous mixing rooms and an adjoining anteroom for staff to “gown up,” Putt said.

Other key additions from the project include:

• Six new private infusion suites, with five existing private rooms being remodeled;

• A new nurse workstation, with open view of all infusion treatment rooms;

• Four additional medical oncology/hematology exam rooms;

• A teaching/consultation room;

• A supportive care area for integrative medicine, and,

• Remodeled clinical and scheduling offices.

“We’re building what we need for the foreseeable future,” Lewis said. “Expansion is a big step forward for our cancer services.”

Designed by Coates Design Architects, the expansion saw community members donate about $1.2 million through the Olympic Medical Center Foundation.

Bill Littlejohn — a Sequim businessman, philanthropist and major donor to the expansion — said at the groundbreaking event, “I’m always amazed at how many people I run into in this community who thank me for being part of the cancer center.”

OMC officials on Tuesday thanked for their major donations Bill and Esther Littlejohn, Barbara and George Brown, and First Federal.

Putt, OMCC director since last June, said the expansion is set to be completed by January 2020 but that OMC staff is expecting to have new sections available for use by October 2019.

For users, the cancer center will “feel larger, more open, (with services) feeding right into the new section,” he said.

OMCC sees about 70-80 new patients each month, with as many as 30 patients each day receiving treatment and another 30-40 each day in the infusion center, Putt said.

The biggest change in treating cancer in recent years, he said, is in the field of gene therapy, or “using a person’s immune system to attack the cancer.”

And though the expansion will help Olympic Medical Center be ready for the next decade of treating cancer, Lewis said rapid changes in cancer treatment technology already has OMC staff preparing for another expansion.

He said OMCC employs about 60 staff members.

“The building is a tool (but the staffers) are the ones that deliver the care and make a difference for our patients,” Lewis said.

Olympic Medical Cancer Center is at 844 N. Fifth Ave. For more information about the facility, see www.olympicmedical.org/default.aspx?ID=40.

More in News

Sound Publishing offers grants to advertisers

Sound Publishing is launching a new program to help local companies spread… Continue reading

Faern Tait of Port Angeles shows off Valentina, a 10-year-old alpaca, at the 2019 Clallam County Fair. Officials have cancelled the 2020 fair with Clallam County not likely able to host large gatherings by mid-August. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell
Clallam County Fair cancelled for 2020

The livestock displays, rodeo, carnival, scones and more will have to wait… Continue reading

Expect delays along US Highway 101 near Sequim for repairs

Maintenance crews for the Washington State Department of Transportation look to take… Continue reading

State gives Clallam County approval for Phase 2

Washington State Secretary of Health John Wiesman has approved Clallam County’s request… Continue reading

Clallam County approves Phase 2 plan

Clallam County has approved a request to move into the next phase… Continue reading

Sequim High School Class of 2020 scholarship recipients

Congratulations to Sequim High School’s Class of 2020! https://issuu.com/sequimgazette/docs/shs_class_of_2020_scholarship_awards_presentation Click on the… Continue reading

Subdued remembrances on Memorial Day

Deidre Magner, longtime groundskeeper for Sequim View Cemetery, raises the flag at… Continue reading

Habitat Clallam sets summer building class

Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County is hosting a seven-week class designed… Continue reading

Police blotter — May 27, 2020

The weekly police blotter includes incidents that occurred in the City of… Continue reading

Most Read