Workers for Sellen Construction begin building the Cancer Center at Renton’s Valley Medical Center. Phase 1A of the project is expected to be complete in early 2025. Courtesy image.

Workers for Sellen Construction begin building the Cancer Center at Renton’s Valley Medical Center. Phase 1A of the project is expected to be complete in early 2025. Courtesy image.

Construction begins on new Valley Cancer Center in Renton

Renton’s Valley Medical Center serves over 600,000 residents throughout South King County.

Construction has officially begun on the new Cancer Center at Valley Medical Center in Renton, with early 2025 being the expected completion of the initial phase of construction.

“This is an exciting first step to our ultimate goal of housing all of our cancer services under one roof and making it as easy and convenient as possible for our community to receive cancer treatment right here in South King County,” said Valley Medical Communication Manager Kristin Bidwell in a press release.

Located on the third floor of the new East Pavilion, Sellen Construction crews have begun the internal works in Phase 1A to create a 41-bay infusion center, compounding pharmacy, reception and fast track area, laboratory, and the Trapper and Samantha Wellbeing Support Center for the Cancer Center.

“This project is made possible thanks to the support of our Board of Trustees, our entire senior leadership team, our oncology leaders, providers and caregivers, Valley Girls and Guys, and more than 500 generous individual and corporate donors,” said Bidwell.

Fundraising for phases 1B and 2 are continuing, with $45 million remaining, which is $10 million more than the initial fundraising goal for the Center. The remaining money that’s needed will go toward the new Oncology and Hematology Clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic for patient and care team conferences and treatment planning, radiation therapy and oncology imaging, and a café space for patients and loved ones.

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’s rate 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.

Renton’s Valley Medical Center serves over 600,000 residents throughout South King County. The need for a single-facility cancer center in Renton is crucial, as Valley Medical has reported that its existing clinics have been strained.

“We see about 79 to 90 patients a day. That’s about 25,000 visits per year. Our most immediate need for our capacity will be addressed here in the Cancer Center,” said Manager of Infusion Services Chermaine Wulff at the Cancer Center’s “skybreaking” ceremony in December 2023. “Cancer is the number one leading cause of death in our community. We want to be part of that community. We want to be part of that answer.”

Key facilities

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 for 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 and 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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