Frequently Asked Questions
Click on each question to link down to the answers.
1. What is Seattle Cancer Care Alliance?
2. How does SCCA benefit patients and healthcare providers?
3. How does SCCA relate to the Hutchinson Center, UW Medicine, and Seattle Children's?
4. How is SCCA governed?
5. What are the responsibilities and activities of SCCA?
Over the past 25 years, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine, and Seattle Children’s have had long-standing affiliations that support their respective missions of research, patient care, and education. To enhance cancer research and advance the treatment of cancer, these organizations have integrated their adult and pediatric oncology-related patient-care services into a separate, nonprofit organization known as Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). SCCA is jointly governed, and each of the three SCCA parent organizations is equally represented. In addition to providing state-of-the-art cancer care, SCCA collaborates with physicians and hospitals throughout the region to speed up the sharing of treatment protocols and other new information that could improve the ability to diagnose and treat cancer.
SCCA strives to provide outstanding care to cancer patients and to further improve survival rates. By bringing the cancer-related patient-care services of three institutions together, SCCA builds on existing strengths, allows easier interactions among the cancer experts in each organization and provides improved access to resources. Collectively, SCCA is greater than the sum of its parts, in that it is supported by wider expertise than is represented by any of the three institutions individually. This broader base of expertise is needed as we enter a new era of cancer research, with increasing knowledge of the fundamental biology of cancer cells and significant opportunities to develop new therapies. An important focus for SCCA is to work collaboratively with healthcare providers in the region to improve the transfer of new diagnostic and treatment techniques from clinical research settings to the community. A component of this includes making it easier for physicians to initiate and conduct clinical research trials. These collaborations, and the highly integrated approach to cancer research and treatment through SCCA, will help speed the flow of scientific information among researchers, clinicians, and patients. This will accelerate the research process and, ultimately, the development of more effective treatments to enhance the standard of cancer care available to patients throughout the Pacific Northwest.
SCCA is the host for oncology patient-care services delivered by Hutchinson Center, UW Medicine, and Seattle Children’s physicians and mid-level practitioners. The Hutchinson Center remains an independent research institution, with an academic affiliation with UW Medicine. All of the Hutchinson Center divisions and research programs continue as Hutchinson Center entities, organizationally independent from the SCCA. For UW Medicine, the opening of the SCCA inpatient units at the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) has increased inpatient volumes and staff at the medical center. Approximately half of UWMC’s Cancer Center clinics were moved to the SCCA clinic in January 2001, along with the offices and support staff of the UWMC medical oncology unit and a few radiation oncology and surgical oncology faculty. Surgical and hospital-based oncology services remain at UWMC, as do the majority of radiation therapy services. Significant planning took place to ensure that there were consistent and compatible systems at UWMC and the SCCA clinic. For Seattle Children’s, the opening of the pediatric SCCA inpatient unit has also increased inpatient volumes and patient-care staffing at Seattle Children’s. Pediatric bone marrow transplant patients receive their outpatient care at SCCA. With the exception of selected high-intensity, research-related cancer care for pediatric oncology outpatients, all other pediatric oncology outpatient care remains at Seattle Children’s.
SCCA is governed by an 18-person board of directors, with six representatives from each of the three SCCA parent organizations. Dr. Fred Appelbaum is the executive director and president of SCCA and has overall general administrative and management responsibility for operations. Norm Hubbard is executive vice president of SCCA and is responsible for day-to-day administrative and management affairs. Dr. Marc Stewart is the medical director and vice president of SCCA and oversees clinical issues on behalf of SCCA.
SCCA is directly responsible and accountable for:
- Operating the SCCA outpatient clinic on the Hutchinson Center campus
- Developing an integrated outpatient and inpatient clinical cancer program across the SCCA organizations
- Supporting the clinical research and teaching activities of the SCCA organizations
- Developing a comprehensive, multi-institutional cancer and tumor registry database to complement the grant-supported cancer research information and reporting system of the faculty
- Developing and maintaining affiliations with local, regional, and national clinical cancer research groups
- Providing leadership in the creation of an improved system of community outreach, including educational seminars, cancer conferences, consultations, and similar clinical cancer support services
- Coordinating the clinical cancer programs of the SCCA organizations as they relate to the SCCA Network and the National Comprehensive Cancer Care Network