Valley Medical CEO Jeannine Erickson-Grinnell hugs Valley Girls & Guys Founder Tina McDonough after being presented with the Cancer Center’s first gift. Photo courtesy of Valley Medical Center.

Valley Medical CEO Jeannine Erickson-Grinnell hugs Valley Girls & Guys Founder Tina McDonough after being presented with the Cancer Center’s first gift. Photo courtesy of Valley Medical Center.

Renton's Valley Medical Center to open Cancer Center

Community donations will be needed to build the comprehensive cancer treatment center

  • By Bailey Jo Josie bailey.jo.josie@rentonreporter.com
  • Tuesday, June 6, 2023 1:11pm
  • News

With cancer as one of the leading causes of death in King County, Valley Medical Center in Renton is working to become an epicenter for cancer treatment in south King County.

Renton’s Valley Medical Center, with community funding, plans to build a comprehensive and accessible Cancer Center to better serve those seeking cancer treatment without having to make the drive to Seattle

“Having a robust Cancer Center here is such an important and vital thing for this community,” said Valley Medical CEO Jeannine Erickson-Grinnell. “Our ability to do it here is a true passion and goal.”

Several years in the making and delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the project kicked off June 1 with a community open house, which allowed the public to tour the space where the Cancer Center will be built and what services will be offered for cancer patients and their caregivers.

During the open house, Valley Medical accepted its first Cancer Center donation of $1.8 million from local non-profit Valley Girls & Guys, which will go towards the $35 million needed to build the center.

“We wanted to be the forerunners in this,” said Valley Girls & Guys founder Tina McDonough at the open house. “We wanted to be the people that said, ‘Yes, we’re in for the long haul with Valley Medical Center.’”

Valley Girls & Guys chose $1.8 million for its donation as 1 out of 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, said Erickson-Grinnell in an interview with The Reporter.

Along with its better proximity to residents in south King County, the Cancer Center will meet an increased need for comprehensive cancer services as many treatments and screenings were delayed during the pandemic.

According to Valley Medical’s 2023 Community Health Needs Assessment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the mortality rate for cancer in King County is 123.1 per 100,000 persons.

While King County is lower than the state rate (142.4 per 100,000), it does not meet the federal Healthy People 2030 objective for cancer deaths, which is 122.7 per 100,000.

Valley Medical Center serves over 600,000 residents and the need for a single-facility cancer center in Renton is crucial, as Valley Medical has reported that its existing clinics are strained.

Erickson-Grinnell, who has a family member currently going through cancer treatment, says that the Cancer Center will offer integrated care that will make treatment easier for patients.

“[Cancer] impacts everyone, that’s why we’re trying to bring this here,” she said. “We want this to be a center for care and for hope.”

Construction on the Cancer Center can begin once one-third of the necessary funds are donated, which would be just over $11.6 million. Thanks to Valley Girls & Guys’ nearly $2 million donation, the Cancer Center on its way toward construction.

“This lead gift will be such an inspiration to others,” Erickson-Grinnell said at the open house. “The space it will create and the people it will touch, from patients and loved ones to providers and staff members, will leave an indelible legacy of care and hope.”

With the entirety of the third floor of the East Pavilion building, almost 30,000 square feet will be allotted to the Cancer Center.

In terms of design, Erickson-Grinnell said that the center is adaptive to patient wants and needs. Along with state-of-the-art electrochromic windows that will help deflect harsh light, the Cancer Center will include several key facilities:

• Infusion Center — The Infusion Center will be the first focus of the Cancer Center, as it will offer a variety of treatments of cancer. It will be designed to be more open, allowing better patient interactions. There will be a 40% capacity increase of infusion patients in the Cancer Center.

• Compounding Pharmacy — Patient wait time will decrease due to easy accessibility to necessary and often volatile medications needed for cancer treatment.

• Acute Symptom Management Clinic — Designed for patients who may have same-day side effects from cancer treatment, this “mini emergency department” would allow patients treatment that could otherwise require them to go a regular emergency room.

• Oncology & Hematology Clinic — Along with the Infusion Center, this clinic will be where each patient will meet with their medical oncologists and hematologists.

• Supportive Care Clinic — An extra form of support for patients, this clinic will focus on helping patients with pain relief and stress that comes from having a serious illness.

• Multidisciplinary Clinic — An important part of the Cancer Center, this clinic will allow newly-diagnosed patients to consult with their oncology specialists all on the same day, something that often requires long wait times and multiple visits.

• Fast Track Rooms — These smaller infusion rooms are designed for appointments that are under 30 minutes or for patients that prefer more privacy.

• Laboratory — This on-site lab will provide data and shorter wait times for results.

• Reception — A large waiting space will open the Cancer Center where patients will check-in.

• Café — A comfortable area for caregivers and patients, the café will offer food, beverages, views and space to rest.

• Valley Girls & Guys Bridge of HOPE — Built in 2021, this sky bridge allows easy access to the Cancer Center from Parking Garage C

• Trapper & Samantha Wellbeing Support Center — Donated by Trapper and Samantha O’Keeffe of Trapper’s Sushi, this support center will provide free resources and entertainment for cancer patients to help make treatment a little easier.


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Valley Girls & Guys donated $1.8 million to go towards the Cancer Center. Photo courtesy of Valley Medical Center

Valley Girls & Guys donated $1.8 million to go towards the Cancer Center. Photo courtesy of Valley Medical Center

Trapper and Samantha O’Keeffe’s Wellbeing Support Cart, which provides free resources for patients during treatment, will become its own support room in the new Cancer Center at Valley Medical Center in Renton. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/.

Trapper and Samantha O’Keeffe’s Wellbeing Support Cart, which provides free resources for patients during treatment, will become its own support room in the new Cancer Center at Valley Medical Center in Renton. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/.

Electrochromic windows will turn blue when sunlight hits them. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/.

Electrochromic windows will turn blue when sunlight hits them. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/.

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