As we broke ground on your Tri-Cities Cancer Center in 1993, I looked forward to the day we closed the doors forever — and I still do. My hope is that cancer will become a chronic disease that people live with as we continue to seek a cure. Until then, your Tri-Cities Cancer Center is here, providing world-class treatment, prevention education, early detection, survivorship and many resources for cancer patients, their families and caregivers.
In January, your Tri-Cities Cancer Center learned it was the first cancer center in the nation to receive the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Accreditation for Excellence (APEx). ASTRO is the premier radiation oncology society in the world. The rigorous accreditation process focused on five pillars of patient care: 1) the process of care; 2) the radiation oncology team; 3) safety; 4) quality management; and 5) patient-centered care. This is significant for our community and the patients we serve. World-class care is truly available right here at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center.
Collaboration and partnerships continue to flourish through the Cancer Center. In 2015, we launched two new Centers of Excellence (COE) in addition to the Breast Center of Excellence, for which we are seeking accreditation. Our Thoracic Center of Excellence focuses on lung cancer and our Genitourinary Center of Excellence focuses on prostate cancer. Thoracic, genitourinary and breast cancers are the most prevalent cancers in our region. This is why our hospital owners and over 20 area physician specialists have partnered with the Cancer Center to create Centers of Excellence.
The fourth most prevalent cancer in our area is colorectal cancer. ... It is also one of the most preventable.
The fourth most prevalent cancer in our area is colorectal cancer. This disease is the second leading cause of cancer related death in the United States. Sadly, it is also one of the most preventable. Last year, we partnered with Tri-Cities Community Health and the American Cancer Society to raise awareness about the need to be screened. On March 19, we held a communitywide colorectal cancer pre-screening event in partnership with all three of our hospitals: Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Lourdes Health Network and Trios Health.
Our building expansion and renovation will house our Survivorship Clinic to provide resources and follow up care for these courageous individuals. We are including a Visiting Physician Clinic to invite specialists outside the Cancer Center, plus space to integrate oncology and dental care for our patients. Once completed, our new clinic will offer greater patient privacy, more spacious exam rooms, new technology, and expanded spaces for family and caregivers. Our Foundation is in the middle of a capital campaign to help fund this project. I want to extend my appreciation to all who have contributed to this campaign. Your investment to improve community health is beyond measure. Thank you.
In 2015, we made a $4 million investment in the very latest in cancer treatment technology called the Edge by Varian. Its precision, speed and ability to treat any type of radiation appropriate cancer is unrivaled. With the hiring of our third radiation oncologist and Tri-City native, Dr. Guy Jones, joining Dr. Sue Mandell and Dr. Juno Choe, we now have greater capacity to support our growing community. Additionally, we are now treating noncancerous diseases with radiation including Dupuytren’s contracture, plantar fasciitis, trigeminal neuralgia and keloids.
Finally, we continue to grow our partnership with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). Not only are we able to offer clinical trials, we also offer medical education to area health care providers. Our partnership allows us ready access to physicians at the SCCA including doctors from UW Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s.
Through the trust and support of our community, we continue to be the region’s leader in cancer prevention, early detection, world-class treatment and survivorship. We are your Tri-Cities Cancer Center.