Harrison Medical Center brings cancer care to Poulsbo

Harrison Medical Center Board Member Ralph Lintz explores the newly opened Harrison Poulsbo campus. The Hematology and oncology grand opening was earlier this week. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Harrison Medical Center Board Member Ralph Lintz explores the newly opened Harrison Poulsbo campus. The Hematology and oncology grand opening was earlier this week.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

POULSBO — Elvira Mobely is quite content she’ll no longer have to hunt for parking at Harrison Medical Center’s Bremerton campus. Instead, the Silverdale resident will now receive her patient care at the new oncology and hematology center in Poulsbo, which opened July 1 on 10th Avenue.

“I like it better here because I don’t have to deal with the traffic,” she said at the Harrison center’s open house on June 29.

The new $25 million cancer center was the result of a collaboration between Harrison and the city of Poulsbo, which inked a deal back in November to bring cancer care to the North End. Patients can receive hospital-based outpatient cancer care, including chemotherapy and nutritional medicine.

Before the ink was dry, the medical center’s architecture and design team, headed by Douglas Coover, director of Campus Design and Construction, went to work. Their objective was to make the building functional while maintaining a look and feel that ties in to the medical center’s other campuses in Bremerton, Silverdale, Port Orchard and Belfair.

“It’s using a palette of material and putting it together in a different way for every campus we have,” he said.

Also working behind the scenes were about 15 employees from Harrison Information Technology staff, overseen by Vice President and Chief Information Officer Adar Palis, whose job it was to make sure the high-tech gadgetry employed in Poulsbo is operational. The team also was responsible for training the cancer center’s staff on the computer system.

Palis’ staff came through the challenge unrattled.

“It’s not that bad when you have good people working for you,” Palis said.

While the cancer center establishes Harrison’s presence in the North End, it also lends a boon to Poulsbo’s economy.

Two medical oncologists, Ann Murphy, M.D., and Dennis Willerford, M.D., will staff the center, along with Kristen Province, ARNP. Four oncology-certified registered nurses, medical technologists, laboratory technologists and support staff will round out the employee list.

Next for Harrison and Poulsbo is a 50,000-square-foot campus with urgent and primary care facilities.

The land, originally purchased by the city in 2005 for $2.1 million, was first considered as a site for a new city hall until a November 2006 citizen advisory vote shifted that project to the downtown core. Proceeds from the sale are now earmarked to help offset the $16.9 million cost of a city hall at Moe Street and Third Avenue.

“The city is deadly earnest in our approach to Harrison Hospital developing in Poulsbo,” said Councilmember Ed Stern. “We are writing it into our Comp Plan as one of three targeted economic dev focuses over the next half-century — College Town, high-tech fiber-optics/telework and finally regional medical hub, for Kitsap, Bainbridge, Jefferson and Clallam counties.”

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