Ten years. Thousands of lives saved. That is the tagline for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance’s 10th anniversary celebration this month. While 1998 marks the signing of the agreement between the entities that formed SCCA—Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s—the outpatient and headquarters building opened on the Hutchinson Center campus on Jan. 29, 2001.
To publicly acknowledge and further build community within and without the organization, the anniversary celebration includes:
- A special website. SCCA launched www.sccatenyear.org as a place where patients and staff can post photos and messages. The result is a clickable montage of images that gives readers access to hundreds of short stories that have been contributed. The site also links to a page of 10 key accomplishments—one per year since 2001.
- A three-part community lecture series. The series, which concludes Jan. 27, is aimed at the public and presents SCCA experts in breast, colon and prostate cancer discussing detection, diagnosis and treatment. Information about the “Discovering Hope: A Decade of Cancer Advances” lectures is on the SCCA website.
- An extensive promotional campaign. SCCA is reaching into the community via radio and television advertising, pole banners, posters, transit ads, billboards and vendor promotions. The ads on the side of select Metro bus routes feature photos and messaging developed specifically for the anniversary campaign. There is also a new logo design that incorporates the tagline “Together for life” next to the names of the three institutions that comprise SCCA.
- Events for SCCA faculty, staff and community leaders. Two invitation-only events will take place in January and February.
|SCCA’s unique business model
The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance business model is unique in the country because it provides a separate corporate structure overseeing the three clinical and research cancer programs of the partner entities that operate the organization. It also brings together three strong existing health care brands with decades of experience. This attracts patients and insurance payers and allows for economies of scale for some operations.
In the 10 years since SCCA opened, revenue growth has been greater than expected, which allowed it to make important capital improvements, such as expanding the outpatient building and constructing SCCA House to provide patient housing.
‘Taking one and one and one and making four’
“The trick in creating SCCA was taking one and one and one and making four,” said Norm Hubbard, SCCA executive vice president. “By combining the adult and pediatric cancer research and treatment programs of three world-class institutions, we created something that is more than the sum of the three partner institutions and more than what they could have created on their own.”
The result is thousands of people in many medical and ancillary disciplines whose only task is researching and treating cancer. Patients benefit from this dedicated expertise and the ability of the institutions to get new treatments from bench to bedside. Patients also have access to clinical trials of new treatments funded by the National Institutes of Health and industry.
“SCCA was born of clinicians and scientists who view research as extraordinarily important, who believe that research can truly be transplanted from the lab to the clinic,” said Dr. Fred Appelbaum, SCCA executive director and director of the Hutchinson Center’s Clinical Research Division. “We wanted to create a facility to do that.”
In addition to the outpatient facility on the Hutchinson Center campus and inpatient services at UW and Seattle Children’s, SCCA brings expertise to patients and their health care providers at 10 community-based affiliate hospitals in Washington, Alaska and Montana. The SCCA Network provides a structured program for supporting community-based oncology services to advance the level of care, including making leading-edge clinical trials available to local patients and offering continuing medical education to local health care providers.