Donations come in for cancer center expansion

By Michael Dashiell

Olympic Peninsula News Group

PORT ANGELES — The expansion of Olympic Medical Cancer Center in Sequim is getting a boost from the community to the tune of $245,000 in pledges, OMC Foundation board executive director Bruce Skinner said.

Skinner presented the Olympic Medical Center board with totals and a $100,000 check from Sequim’s Bill and Esther Littlejohn on Nov. 16.

Center supporters

“My wife and I have been big supporters of the cancer center,” Bill Littlejohn said. “My father always told me, ‘You’ve got to give back to the community,’ and we try to do that.”

The expansion will include additional clinical exam space, an expansion of the pharmacy, more infusion and chair space and an education space that will allow for physicians and staff to explain the short- and long-term effects to patients and support them during difficult emotional times.

The plan is to expand medical oncology from five exam rooms to 15; expand chemotherapy, the pharmacy and support services and add meeting areas.

11,000 square feet

The proposed expansion would be an 11,000-square-foot increase to the south, Eric Lewis, the hospital’s chief executive officer, said in October.

The number of patient visits at the cancer center has grown by 157 percent throughout the past 10 years and more growth is expected in the future, OMC Foundation representatives said.

Lewis said the expansion will make the cancer center more viable for the long term, helping OMC recruit and retain top physicians and other cancer professionals.

Skinner and Karen Rogers, the foundation’s Harvest of Hope gala chairman, said the Oct. 15 event held at Sunland Golf & Country Club in Sequim brought in $53,000 — with funds geared toward expanding the cancer center.

She said turnout was a bit down with weather forecasts predicting a major winter storm.

“We had our largest sponsorship ever,” Rogers said, “despite the threat of Hurricane Sequim.”

The event saw the largest sponsorship ever at $47,000, Rogers said.

‘Humbled’

“I’m always humbled by the generosity of the community,” she said.

Those interested in more information or in making a donation can call the OMC Foundation office at 360-417-7144, or email them at bruce@omhf.org, Skinner said.

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Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at editor@sequimgazette.com.

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