The road to recovery is now a little bit shorter for Whatcom County cancer patients – at least as far as physical distance to a treatment facility is concerned.
The new, integrated PeaceHealth St. Joseph Cancer Center at 3301 Squalicum Parkway in Bellingham opened December 10.
PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center’s Cancer Center provides all cancer services in one location. For the first time in Whatcom County, patients will able to see their cancer specialists and receive chemotherapy, radiation therapy and support services in a single facility. The centralized care also provides doctors and other caregivers a common space to collaborate, according to the medical center.
The $23 million, 35,000 square- foot capital construction project was funded by local philanthropists to help provide state-of-the-art comprehensive cancer care in Whatcom County.
“This new Cancer Center will benefit not just those of us who provide care, but our entire community. I hope many will take the opportunity to come tour this place of hope and healing on January 12,” said Jennie Crews, M.D., the Cancer Center’s medical director.
The center is holding a ceremony and open house on Saturday, January 12 for community members. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. with formal remarks, and will be followed by self-guided tours of the center.
From 1 to 3 p.m., visitors will be able to explore the art-filled facility, and visit wings leading to the library, quiet room, infusion treatment, radiation therapy and medical offices, as well the healing gardens.
The event will also include raffle drawings, free chair massage and refreshments.
The ceremony will include blessings from communities of faith, including the Lummi Nation, as well as remarks from county executive Jack Louws, Bellingham mayor Kelli Linville, radiation oncologist Ian Thompson, M.D., Cancer Center medical director Jennie Crews, M.D., and Nancy Steiger, CEO for PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center and the PeaceHealth Northwest Network of Care.
“Nearly everyone knows someone – a friend, family member, co-worker – who has been touched by cancer,” Dr. Crews said. “We are all impacted in some way.