Photo by Dean Forbes
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels congratulated the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for adding “world-class hospitality to world-class care” during last week's dedication ceremonies for the new housing facility for cancer patients, their families and caregivers. Located at 207 Pontius Ave. N., the SCCA House joins nearby Pete Gross House as the second “home away from home” for patients built and operated by the SCCA.
“This beautiful new facility will help fill a significant demand for lodging for patients and their caregivers during various forms of cancer treatment, which can last as long as several weeks,” said Norm Hubbard, SCCA executive vice president.
The SCCA House is a short-to-medium-stay home away from home for patients visiting general SCCA oncology clinics and post transplant patients returning for follow-up care. When the SCCA House officially opens at the end of the month, patients will enter a facility carefully monitored for people with some degree of immunosuppression. The six-floor, 67,311 square-foot facility features:
- Eighty private units—which vary in size to accommodate two, three or five persons—each suite contains a kitchenette equipped with microwave, small fridge and sink
- A 2,300-square-foot communal kitchen and dining room
- Shared laundry facilities
- Wellness, meditation and exercise rooms
- A second-floor terrace patio and rooftop garden
- Underground parking
- Indoor recreation room
- Free wireless Internet access
- Common-use rooms for counseling, computer use, classes and a resource center.
- A shuttle will be available to take patients to and from clinic appointments and to a local grocery store.
Local hotels have been the only other choices for out-of-town patients aside from the 70-unit Pete Gross House, which was built in 1999 and primarily serves patients who are undergoing bone marrow and stem cell transplants at the SCCA. The Pete Gross House has a large waiting list because the highly regarded transplantation program draws patients nationally and internationally. Transplant treatment typically lasts several months.
“By providing additional patient housing options, the SCCA is improving access to high-quality, patient-focused care for patients seeking the expertise and technologies of a regional cancer center,” Hubbard said. “We hope that, by effectively doubling our patient housing capacity, we can reduce the stress on patients and their families who already have a serious illness to cope with.”
Built by architects Weinstein A/U and Walsh Construction, the SCCA House is pursuing “silver certification” under the LEED program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Environmentally sustainable features include “green” roofs, courtyard planting and storm-water detention planters in lieu of on-site detention tanks; high efficiency fixtures; extensive use of day lighting and energy efficient lighting; natural ventilation and high performance heating and cooling equipment.
As a nonprofit organization owned by the SCCA, the SCCA House can accept donations to assist patients and their families staying in Seattle for their cancer treatment.