What makes this practice unique are the close, long-term relationships that you develop with patients. Unlike an emergency room physician who may only see a person once, I see my patients frequently for months — sometimes years — as they move through treatment and into survivorship. I enjoy getting to know patients and families, talking in depth about their lives and diagnoses and helping them think through complex health situations so that they feel empowered to make their own decisions.
A new diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming, so during our first appointment I focus on explaining the diagnosis and its implications, the research behind treatment recommendations and why I might recommend one approach over another. It’s also important to clarify what matters to you — your preferences and goals — before making any decisions. Many patients find it helpful to know that I stay involved throughout active treatment and even when it ends, providing monitoring and follow-up care. Although my goal for each patient is to provide the greatest chance for a cure or long-lasting remission, I also focus on minimizing the long-term impact of therapy on your well-being.
Breast cancer, hematologic disorders, gastrointestinal cancers, gynecologic cancers
I am a board-certified hematologist-oncologist with more than 20 years of clinical experience. I specialize in the treatment of breast cancer; however, I also care for patients with benign and malignant blood disorders as well as gynecologic and gastrointestinal cancers.
My background includes working at the Mayo Clinic and co-founding a hematology-oncology practice in Kirkland, now known as Fred Hutch at EvergreenHealth. In addition to caring for patients, I also conduct clinical trials investigating new drugs for early and advanced breast cancer. I am excited to be part of this exceptional and world-renowned cancer center.
Our mission is to provide patients with the highest quality, personalized care closer to home. As part of Fred Hutch, our community oncologists offer patients multidisciplinary tumor board opinions, clinical trials and expertise in treating a variety of cancers.
Catholic University of Louvain
Waterbury Hospital, Internal Medicine
Mayo Clinic, Oncology; Boston University School of Medicine, Hematology
Medical Oncology, 1989; Hematology, 1988; Internal Medicine, 1985, American Board of Internal Medicine
Seattle Met's 2020 Top Doctors award
Dr. vanHaelst has been recognized as a Top Doctor year after year.
At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
Fred Hutch accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.