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A Lifesaving Investment

A Lifesaving Investment

In 2017, Washington Hospital Health System (WHHS) and University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Health joined forces to establish the UCSF - Washington Cancer Center to provide Southern Alameda County residents access to the highest quality cancer treatment, research and technology, close to home.

In the seven years since, cancer has evolved dramatically in its complexity, making cancer treatment today much different than years past. At the same time, the cancer center has experienced a dramatic increase in patients, growing from 5,286 patients in 2016 to 13,845 patients in 2023 in combined outpatient clinic and infusion center visits. As a result, the cancer center has outgrown its current facilities, creating a need for additional space and resources to provide more patients with the specialized, world-class cancer care it is known for.

An expanded 15,000-square-foot cancer center will allow patients to continue to benefit from a network combining the strengths, expertise and resources of both organizations. It will facilitate patient access to the latest advances in treatment and research, from surgery, to infusion therapy, to radiation oncology, to clinical trials, in one modern facility.

Strategic Development

In December 2021, Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation (WHHF) initiated strategic conversations with Washington Hospital friends and supporters on a $12 million philanthropic investment to build a new and expanded comprehensive cancer center. The growing needs of cancer care patients, combined with strong community support inspired a campaign to transform the future of cancer care at WHHS.

Foundation Executive Director Sarah Gemski said developing the new UCSF - Washington Cancer Center will make comprehensive world-class cancer care accessible to the community and significantly improve the lives of the patients the cancer center serves. Patients will have expanded access to safe and comfortable quality services with 15,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities, multidisciplinary collaboration and an expansive network of leading specialists.

While the UCSF - Washington Cancer Center currently offers a full array of cancer protocols provided by a team of dedicated interdisciplinary physicians and staff, the current treatment and office space isn’t adequate for growing patient needs. The newly expanded cancer center will bring everything together to help guide patients and their family members through a holistic cancer treatment journey.

Transformative Expansion

The expansion will be financed through a variety of fundraising sources with an overall funding need of $22 million with a minimum of $12 million to be raised in philanthropic giving. To date, $10 million has been raised, leaving $2 million to be raised by fall 2024. Gemski said Hospital leadership, physicians and staff have all played a big role in reaching that $10 million mark. The Foundation is reaching out to the community to raise the remaining $2 million.

“Everyone at Washington Hospital understands being part of a community hospital and the importance of community is to support it,” she explained. “It’s one way we can ensure local continuity of care for our patients. We have really been blessed in this community with the level of support we have received, and I hope that will continue as we expand cancer services close to home.”

The new UCSF - Washington Cancer Center will provide holistic and integrated care in a center nearly three times the size of current facilities. The goal is to open the expanded center in early 2026. Construction is slated to take just over a year. Key clinical and patient-centered service additions include:

  • A collaborative network of interdisciplinary services for patients and their families, with 2,000-plus square foot of office space for clinicians.
  • A clinical research program with expanding access to active clinical trials.
  • A full-service, 1,350-square-foot, in-house pharmacy, reducing wait times by one hour.
  • 17 comfortable and accessible infusion pods, three private treatment areas, six private exam rooms, and two procedure rooms to provide a comfortable space for patients undergoing cancer treatment and chemotherapy.
  • A new centralized nursing station to help improve patient care, and provide faster and more efficient services.
  • A larger, more centralized patient lobby for patients and families to ensure comfort and safety.

Four Pillars of Cancer Care

The campaign includes four “pillars” to support the goal of world-class cancer care:

  • Academic Level Care: State-of-the-art facilities and access to community-based care by UCSF specialists, physicians and a network of leading clinicians.
  • Comprehensive and Integrated Services: Collaborative network of ancillary and interdisciplinary services including nutritionists, financial counselors, care navigators, social workers and pharmacists.
  • Research and Clinical Trials: Access to clinical researchers and research testing methods of early detection and prevention for patients.
  • Survivorship Program: Expanded services to provide cancer survivors with resources and access to leading clinicians who specialize in rehabilitation and specialty care.

Medical Director of the UCSF - Washington Cancer Center, Bogdan Eftimie, MD, noted the cancer center mirrored UCSF’s world-class care from the outset. He sees the cancer center expansion as the best way to keep the collaboration going through expanded, holistic services.

“This campaign aims to endow the UCSF - Washington Cancer Center Program with the right foundation to stay abreast of advanced treatment and relevant for years to come,” Dr. Eftimie said. “For those instances where more expertise is needed in terms of unique clinical trials, surgical interventions or second opinions with experts in their field, the UCSF - Washington Cancer Center can provide a seamless transition of care to a world-renowned institution."

For more information on the UCSF - Washington Cancer Center Capital Campaign, go to the UCSF – Washington Cancer Center.