Providence Willamette Falls breaks ground on cancer center
World-class cancer care is coming closer to home for Clackamas County residents and surrounding communities. Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center has broken ground on the 32,000-square-foot Carol Danielson Suzuki Cancer Center and expansion project at the hospital.
The $16 million facility will bring the expertise of the Providence Cancer Institute to provide more than 4,000 chemotherapy or immunotherapy treatments in Oregon City each year, more than double the previous capacity of the Clackamas Clinic.
Providence cares for more people with cancer than any other health system in Oregon. The Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, part of Providence Cancer Institute, is internationally recognized for its focus on immunotherapy research and treatments.
"We're excited to be investing in the health of our community and demonstrating our commitment to elevating care for our patients and their loved ones," said Brad Henry, Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center chief executive. "This project allows us to keep care local and grow in a way that meets the needs of our patients while also reducing travel and making care more accessible for the communities we serve."
Once opened, the center will provide patients nearly all the care they need — diagnosis, treatment and follow-up — under one roof. It also will double the capacity for chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments over the previous clinic location in Clackamas and save thousands of trips to Portland for hundreds of patients, giving them and their families more time and energy for their regular activities.
"The new center will make it easier for Clackamas County residents to participate in innovative treatments and clinical trials bringing patients the very latest in cancer care," said Janet Ruzich, a hematologist and oncologist at the Providence Cancer Institute Clackamas Clinic.
The project is designed by PKA Architects and led by Fortis Construction. It includes the build-out of a 14,000 square foot cancer center as well as provides 5,000 square feet of new space for infrastructure improvements supporting the hospital. The project also creates a new entrance and patient drop-off on the east side of campus, easy access for parking and lays the foundation for future modernization of clinical services. Construction is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2022.
The cancer center is dedicated in memory to Carol D. Suzuki, who battled cancer for more than two years with family by her side. She was dedicated to serving others in the communities she called home, including Oregon City. That dedication to serving others now includes helping to build a place of hope for cancer patients.
Additional philanthropic support has helped Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center Foundation raise more than $3 million for the project through the Bridges to Hope Campaign.
"Big things are possible when we work together and we are proud to engage the community in philanthropic efforts to make this dream a reality," said Pat Markesino, Providence Willamette Falls Medical Foundation chair. "The overwhelming support for bringing cancer care closer to home has ignited the generosity of Clackamas County as well as the Danielson and Suzuki families. We are forever grateful."
To donate or learn more about the Bridges to Hope Campaign to support the Carol D. Suzuki Cancer Center, call 503-650-6809 or visit providencefoundations.org/bridges.
New chief executive
Brad Henry began on June 7 serving as the new chief executive of Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center to fill the position vacated when Russ Reinhard retired earlier this spring after leading the medical center for 29 years.
Henry has been with Providence since 2000, most recently serving as chief executive of ambulatory services, leading the vision and operations for the regional outpatient programs and joint ventures within Oregon. He also recently served as interim chief executive at Providence Newberg Medical Center.
"Providence Willamette Falls has a long and strong history of service to the community," Henry said. "This was demonstrated this past year by putting our mission into action in new ways, serving our patients with COVID and reaching out to our entire community during the wildfires.
"I've personally experienced the excellence and compassionate care at Providence Willamette Falls, as two of my children were born here. It is an exciting time to be in health care, and it's an honor to lead this team of dedicated caregivers."
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