Olympic Medical Cancer Center provides top-notch cancer treatment in Sequim, delivering to residents of the Olympic Peninsula expert, individualized care and access to the latest technology without traveling across the Hood Canal Bridge.
Olympic Medical Cancer Center, located at 844 N. 5th Ave. in Sequim, is home to a collaborative team of board-certified physicians, specially trained nurses, patient navigators, technologists, nutritionists and more, all of whom work together to develop a unique treatment plan for every patient.
Remodeled in 2020 to add private infusion suites and expand the pharmacy to 3,700 square feet, Olympic Medical Cancer Center offers medical oncology and radiation oncology in the same location.
When Gail Becker first received a Stage 3 ovarian cancer diagnosis, the Joyce resident said it “felt like I was punched in the stomach.” The news shocked her, and in the midst of processing what was taking place in her body, one the first questions she asked was:
“If I have to see an oncologist, can I see them in Sequim?”
Thankfully for Gail, and other cancer patients on the Olympic Peninsula, the answer is yes.
Having been through his own cancer diagnosis, Shawn Gould, RN, relates to patients of Sequim’s Olympic Medical Cancer Center in a way that few others can.
“I’ll never get back to how I was before having cancer,” Gould says. “To take that experience and use that to maybe help somebody else deal with something or tell them things that worked for me to deal with my symptoms, I’ve had patients say, ‘That really helped me.’”
The Patient Navigation team at Olympic Medical Cancer Center has worked with one patient to apply for funding to cover most of the expenses for his medication.
“If it weren’t for the team at the Cancer Center, I don’t think we could have started my medication therapy due to the high cost,” Bob Buckingham says.
As his treatment progresses, Buckingham feels supported by Olympic Medical Cancer Center.
Chief Physician Officer Joshua Jones, MD, and Chief Nursing Officer Vickie Swanson, RN, recently presented Olympic Medical Cancer Center’s infusion services team with the DAISY Team Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The DAISY Award recognizes the extraordinary, compassionate nursing care provided to patients and families every day.
The nomination for the award read, in part, “Every nurse in the Infusion Department is amazing and demonstrates every day the qualities of nurses.
“Nursing is an incredibly special profession,” Dr. Jones said. “Oncology nursing is a special among specials.”
Unlike infusion bays in some urban cancer centers where multiple patients share a large room, patients receiving infusion at Olympic Medical Cancer Center have their own private space.
“That’s what I hear about the most, people who’ve been in Seattle or been in bigger places, is that they’re all in one room and they don’t like it,” says Julie Larson, Nursing Supervisor, Infusion Services. “They really enjoy having a space.”
Remodeled in 2020, the infusion suites are bright, calming and comfortable.
“It’s just really nice to be able to have people be comfortable, kick back and relax because this is a stressful time,” says Nicole Janssen, RN, Infusion Services. “So just really to make them comfortable where they’re at, feel at home, and to be able to discuss more private things.”
The Patient Navigator program is designed to provide services and resources to help guide patients through the health care system so they can focus on treatment and well-being.
“My goal is always to try to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the patient and help them explore the system, both within the clinic, within the OMC umbrella and also within the community,” says Mikel Townsley, Patient Navigator.
Caring for a patient’s mental, emotional and spiritual well-being while undergoing radiation or infusion is key function of OMCC’s Patient Navigation program.
“Support always leads to better healing outcomes,” Townsley says.
The Patient Navigator also helps patients access community resources that would best help meet a patient’s need for:
“We have a very generous community and the OMC Foundation that helps us to support people,” says Dr. Lindsay Jensen, radiation oncology. “…Having the patient navigation here, it’s way above and beyond the level that you would expect for a Cancer Center of this size.”
The Patient Navigator assists patients in understanding and utilizing services and educational information provided by Olympic Medical Cancer Center. Olympic Medical Center provides this service free of charge thanks in part to the generous support of the OMC Foundation, and can be contacted by a patient, a family member or a physician. For more information on the Patient Navigator, please call (360) 582-2845.
The Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator at Olympic Medical Cancer Center offers a radically different approach to treating cancer with image-guided radiotherapy. It delivers more powerful cancer treatments with pinpoint accuracy and precision. The TrueBeam uniquely integrates new imaging and motion management technologies within a sophisticated new architecture that makes it possible to deliver radiation cancer treatments more quickly, while monitoring and compensating for tumor motion. This opens the door to new possibilities for the treatment of cancer of the lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, as well as other cancers treatable with radiotherapy.
The TrueBeam linear accelerator offers a broad spectrum of new capabilities, enabling treatment of even the most challenging cancer cases with unprecedented speed and precision. TrueBeam breaks the mold in just about every dimension, making it possible to offer faster, more targeted treatments to tumors even as they move and change over time.
With dose delivery rates that are 40 to 140 percent higher than earlier generations of Varian technology, the TrueBeam can complete a treatment significantly faster. This makes it possible to offer greater patient comfort by shortening treatments, and to improve precision by leaving less time for tumor motion during dose delivery. “Intelligent” automation further speeds treatments with an up to five-fold reduction in the number of steps needed for image guidance and dose delivery. Patients spend less time lying still, immobilized, resulting in increased patient comfort.
The precision of the TrueBeam is measured in increments of less than a millimeter (smaller than a mustard seed). This accuracy is made possible by the system’s sophisticated architecture, which synchronizes imaging, patient positioning, motion management, beam shaping and dose delivery, performing accuracy checks every ten milliseconds throughout the entire treatment. As the treatment progresses, critical data points are measured to ensure the system maintains a true focal point of treatment.
For lung and other tumors subject to respiratory motion, TrueBeam offers gated RapidArc® radiotherapy, which makes it possible to monitor patient breathing and compensate for tumor motion as it quickly delivers its dose during a continuous rotation around the patient.
Olympic Medical Cancer Center is one of nine cancer centers across five Pacific Northwest states that comprise the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Network Program, drawing on the expertise and research of scientists, physicians and nurses from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s.
Olympic Medical Cancer Center has successfully met the standards of the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) APEx – Accreditation Program for Excellence. APEx is an accreditation program developed by ASTRO that validates a radiation oncology facility’s excellence in delivering high-quality patient care.
The need for cancer care continues to increase and Olympic Medical Cancer Center is expanding our facility, staff and services to meet that need.