Grow Responsibly and Provide Access to Every Child Who Needs Us

Grow Responsibly Pinwheel
  • Continue to develop our current focus programs and invest in three new ones: Craniofacial; Gastroenterology; and Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine.
  • Ensure we have a bed available when a child needs it so we never have to divert a medical or surgical patient to another hospital.
  • Reduce the wait time for specialty care appointments to seven days.
  • Increase access to care locally and regionally.

Caring for Every Child Who Needs Us

Towne Family

The Towne family, whose son Ben, above, was a patient at Seattle Children's, looks forward to the day when cancer patients and their families no longer have to share rooms.

The world turned upside down for Jeff and Carin Towne the day their son Ben, 2, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Although many of the details are a blur, the Townes will never forget the frustration they felt after waiting hours for a room to open up in the Cancer Care Unit at Children’s – and then having to share the room with another family.

“I was beside myself,” Carin recalls. “My son needed to go to bed and we desperately needed privacy to digest the news.”

Children’s is working to meet those needs and others by constructing a new building on the Seattle campus and building clinics to help bring care closer to home. On the Seattle campus, Building Hope: Cancer and Critical Care Expansion is scheduled to open in 2013. The building will increase capacity and will allow us to improve care for the hospital’s most vulnerable patients – children who need cancer care as well as children who need critical and emergency care.

Our existing cancer unit is overflowing. Patients often double up in rooms, and sometimes the only available rooms are elsewhere in the hospital. When the new building is complete, our cancer program will move into an expanded 48-bed unit and each patient will have a private room, complete with sleeper sofas and bathrooms with showers.

The unit will occupy the top two floors of the new building, and the very top floor will be dedicated to adolescents and teens. Each floor will include a shared family lounge and one or two private “quiet rooms.”

The Townes spent more than 100 nights at Children’s while Ben was fighting cancer. Sadly, he lost the battle. Still, his parents remain grateful for the care he received and they look forward to the day the new building opens – increasing access to world-class cancer care for other children in the community who need it.

“If the children in your life have never walked the halls of Children’s, you are very fortunate,” Carin says. “But if they ever face a serious illness or injury, there’s no other place you’d rather be.”