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From the VP: Exciting news for cancer care and research

Earlier this week UW Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch), Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) and Seattle Children’s announced a new approach to providing world-class cancer care and cancer research in the Pacific Northwest.

Under this new plan, Fred Hutch and SCCA would merge, forming the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (FHCC), an independent, private, not-for-profit organization. The FHCC would be a comprehensive cancer center that is clinically integrated with UW Medicine and focused on treating adult cancer patients. FHCC would be UW Medicine’s cancer program and have programmatic oversight of the adult oncology clinical programs at UW Medical Center. The new Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center will unite the strengths of Fred Hutch’s research and science with SCCA’s outstanding clinical care and UW Medicine’s nationally recognized research and adult cancer care programs. In parallel to this change, Seattle Children’s would continue operating independently and be the central site for pediatric cancer care among the organizations. This new approach would create a seamless and consistent experience for patients and providers.

Since forming the SCCA in 1998, Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s and UW Medicine have been leaders in helping prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, and ultimately discover cures. However, the world of cancer care and research has changed significantly since the SCCA was created 20 years ago. The SCCA and its members have regularly reviewed and discussed approaches to strengthening collaboration since its inception. It has become increasingly clear that this is a natural next step in the evolution of this partnership. Creating Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and moving forward under this new structure, would further strengthen our contributions to Washington state in health care delivery, economic growth and a robust life sciences industry.

In the coming weeks and months, leaders from the four organizations will be discussing the restructure with governing boards, faculty, staff, labor partners, government officials and other stakeholders with the goal of securing all necessary board and governmental approvals by early 2022. My office will support these effort and the formation of the FHCC will be a key component of our 2022 legislative agenda. The partnership between UW Medicine, Fred Hutch and Seattle Children’s has been a boon for our region for the past two decades and I am excited to see how this new structure will accelerate the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the future.