Tuality and OHSU Partnership Expands Cancer Services in Western Wash. Co.

12/13/99    Portland, Ore.

Tuality Healthcare and Oregon Health Sciences University recently announced the beginning of a new partnership to bring comprehensive cancer treatment services to western Washington County. Making the announcement were Dick Stenson, president and chief executive officer, Tuality Healthcare, and Tim Goldfarb, director, OHSU Health Care System.

The partnership agreement includes an intent to build a new cancer treatment and research facility at Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro, supported by professional staff from the Oregon Cancer Center at OHSU. The partnership will be developed in close cooperation with Tuality's medical staff, and will bring radiation oncology and cancer support services to the existing Tuality cancer program that already includes chemotherapy and surgical treatment.

Stenson said Tuality has been seeking ways to add more specialized cancer services as the community need for them has grown.

According to Gerald Gibbs, M.D., oncologist and hematologist on Tuality's medical staff, nearly half of Tuality's cancer patients currently are forced to seek treatment outside the community.

"With a convenient, nearby treatment option, local patients wouldn't have to endure tiring commutes to a Portland facility, at a time when they're obviously not feeling their best," said Dr. Gibbs.

"It makes good healthcare sense to come to the patient whenever possible, especially when patients are receiving multiple treatments over several weeks," said Craig Nichols, M.D., associate director for clinical research of the Oregon Cancer Center at OHSU. Stenson said research shows a steadily growing number of patients seeking cancer treatment in Tuality's service area in the foreseeable future. "The numbers reflect an existing need for these services already today, which only intensifies as our population grows and it gets more difficult for local residents to travel regularly to Portland," he said.

Stenson also said that the Tuality Healthcare Foundation will be involved in locating cornerstone funding for building the new service facility.

"As one of the remaining successful independent, non-profit healthcare systems in the state, we rely on the generous support of our community in order to continue expanding and improving services," said Stenson. "We are eager to explore ways to offer lasting recognition to contributors who want to play a fundamental role in helping bring this new service to our community."