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A clinic designed for woman's wellness

SCCA's new Women's Center integrates programs for breast and gynecological cancer treatment, wellness
Dr. Connie Lehman, Tracy Cothran, Cecilia Zapata, Debbie Waters, Peggy Stam, Anita Rosen (in back), Cheryl Wyman, Linda Mattox, Norm Hubbard and Bob Berth (behind ballons)
Members of several advisory groups join together to cut the ribbon and officially open the new Women's Center for Breast and Gynecological Cancers. From left: Dr. Connie Lehman, Tracy Cothran, Cecilia Zapata, Debbie Waters, Peggy Stam, Anita Rosen (in back), Cheryl Wyman, Linda Mattox, Norm Hubbard and Bob Berth (behind ballons). Photo by Todd McNaught

Designed with the help of cancer patients, the new Women's Center that opened Monday at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance consolidates breast and gynecologic cancer programs into one integrated space. In addition to diagnostic and treatment services, the Women's Center houses a Women's Wellness Clinic and other support services.

"The Women's Center is designed to offer not only world-class medical care but also an understanding of the female perspective on health and illness, spiritual and emotional support, and help to strengthen coping skills," said Dr. Connie Lehman, head of breast imaging at the SCCA. "What makes this center unique is the availability of top-notch specialists in many fields who are dedicated solely to women's cancers. It is a patient-centered, healing environment for women in all stages of cancer care and recovery," Lehman said.

The Women's Center is located on the third floor of the SCCA clinic. It brings together the SCCA's existing Breast Cancer Specialty Center, Breast Imaging Services, Gynecologic Cancer Program and the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Prevention Program.

The 12,000-square-foot, $2.3 million center has a light-filled waiting room with a view of Lake Union and spacious, well-planned examination rooms that are large enough to accommodate friends or family members. There are three mammography rooms, three ultrasound rooms, and one room for stereotactic biopsy, all furnished with the latest digital-imaging equipment. Each mammography room has its own private changing room; results are given immediately and in private.

Patient-centered design

The Women's Center was designed with patient input, and this input has had significant impact on the design of the center, said Cecilia Zapata, the planning project manager. "The colors, furniture and lighting — even the location and orientation of examination rooms that enhance privacy and work flow — are a result of what our patients said they wanted," Zapata said. The center's color scheme is a sophisticated combination of aqua, lime, tan and brown.

In addition, the center has a "green rating," meaning most of the materials used in the construction were either recycled or environmentally friendly, and it was designed to conserve both power and water. Art decorating the center includes a drawing by Dale Chihuly, the famous Northwest glass artist.

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