Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Seattle Children’s announced plans Tuesday, July 13 to explore restructuring their longtime relationship to accelerate a shared mission of advancing diagnosis, treatment and pioneering of cures for cancer and other diseases.
If finalized and approved, the proposed restructure would establish an adult-focused oncology program and, separately, a pediatric oncology program, according to a UW Medicine news release. These programs would be collaborative and integrated with the innovative cancer research from Fred Hutch, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s.
Under the new structure, SCCA and Fred Hutch would merge to form Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, an independent, private, not-for-profit organization operating as a clinically integrated part of UW Medicine. As part of the merger, all SCCA clinical sites would be Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center sites. Seattle Children’s would continue operating independently and be the central site for pediatric cancer care among the organizations. Creating Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center would further strengthen the alliance’s contributions to Washington state in health care delivery, economic growth and a robust life sciences industry. Members of UW Physicians, who are School of Medicine faculty, would provide cancer care at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and other parts of UW Medicine.
In the coming weeks and months, leaders from the four organizations will be discussing the restructure with governing boards, faculty, staff, labor partners, government officials and other stakeholders to inform the plan with the goal of securing all necessary board and governmental approvals by early 2022.
“We are at an unprecedented time in which our understanding of cancer biology, integrative data science and the critical importance of compassionate care are coming together. We must evolve our institutions to harness this moment,” said Dr. Tom Lynch, president and director of Fred Hutch and holder of the Raisbeck Endowed Chair, in the news release. “This historic partnership has the potential to impact cancer outcomes globally as we shorten the timeline between discovery and use of the newest treatments.”
The new Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center would unite the strengths of Fred Hutch’s research and science with SCCA’s outstanding clinical care and UW Medicine’s nationally recognized research and adult cancer care programs. UW Medicine would continue its longstanding partnership in pediatric oncology with Seattle Children’s, and all organizations, including the newly created Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, would continue collaboration in pediatric oncology research.
“At UW Medicine, our researchers and clinicians are dedicated to pioneering new, precise approaches to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of serious diseases,” said Dr. Paul Ramsey, chief executive officer, UW Medicine. “With the new structure provided by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, we would be able to accelerate these discoveries and advance healthcare for adult and pediatric cancer patients in our community and around the world.”
“We’re extremely proud of all we’ve accomplished in more than two decades of bringing hope, healing and world-class cancer care to the Pacific Northwest,” said Dr. Nancy Davidson, president and executive director, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. “This new structure would create an opportunity to define the next era of our partnership – one that would build on our strengths and lay the groundwork for our next 20 years.”
The proposed structure also reflects plans currently underway to consolidate the outpatient pediatric bone marrow transplant program at SCCA to Seattle Children’s as part of the hospital’s upcoming expansion with the opening of Building Care.
“Providing care to children and working to advance pediatric oncology research are core to who we are as an organization,” said Dr. Jeff Sperring, chief executive officer, Seattle Children’s. “The opportunity to collaborate with a newly optimized Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center would help us deliver hope, care and cures to even more children in our region and beyond.”
SCCA was formed in 1998 as a partnership among Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s and UW Medicine. Over the past 20 years, SCCA clinical care teams have provided care and access to clinical trials to more than 190,000 cancer patients through nine SCCA-operated treatment centers across Washington state.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first National Cancer Institute-funded cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the COVID-19 Prevention Network. For more information about Fred Hutch, visit fredhutch.org.
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) brings together the leading research teams and cancer specialists from Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s and UW Medicine – one extraordinary group whose sole purpose is the pursuit of better, longer, richer lives for our patients. Based in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, SCCA is the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center in Washington state. In addition to its Proton Therapy Center in Seattle, SCCA has nine clinical care sites in the region, including a medical oncology clinic at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland; hematology/medical oncology and infusion services at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, medical and radiation oncology clinics at UW Medical Center—Northwest in Seattle and medical oncology services at SCCA Issaquah, as well as Network affiliations with hospitals in five states. UWMC/SCCA has been recognized as the 9th Best Cancer Hospital for 2020-21 by U.S. News & World Report, and the only ranked number one cancer hospital in the Pacific Northwest for more than ten years. For more information about SCCA, visit seattlecca.org.
Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.
Ranked as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation’s top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Foundation works with the Seattle Children’s Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research. For more information about Seattle Children’s, visit seattlechildrens.org.
UW Medicine is one of the top-rated academic medical systems in the world. With a mission to improve the health of the public, UW Medicine educates the next generation of physicians and scientists, leads one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive biomedical research programs, and provides outstanding care to patients from across the globe. Our family of nearly 28,000 healthcare providers, researchers, faculty and staff includes Airlift Northwest, Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, UW Physicians, UW School of Medicine and Valley Medical Center. The UW School of Medicine is second in the nation in National Institutes of Health research grants with $1.3 billion according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Medical School Rankings (fiscal year 2020). For more information about UW Medicine, visit uwmedicine.org.