Poulsbo’s Fred Hutch cancer clinic fills void in Kitsap

Fred Hutchinson recently opened its first cancer clinic on this side of Puget Sound in Poulsbo, offering patients a closer option that nearly has all the services and resources its clinics in Seattle have.

The Peninsula Clinic opened on 7th Avenue just before the COVID pandemic and offers services in radiation oncology, medical oncology and supportive care. The medical portion provides assessments, physical examinations, patient consultations and education from medical providers and clinical staff, its website states. In addition, hematology, infusion therapy, lab draws, supportive care services and transfusion services are available for cancer patients referred to the facility.

The clinic also provides comprehensive radiation therapy for all disease types, including advanced Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy. They also treat superficial skin cancer performed with electronic low-dose brachytherapy as an alternative to Mohs micrographic surgery. There are two doctors and two nurse practitioners.

“We offer really everything at the Poulsbo clinic that we would offer at any of the other Fred Hutch clinics,” said Dr. Edmond Marzbani, associate medical director of all Fred Hutch locations.

Before Fred Hutch acquired the location, there was a private radiation oncology practice there. Fred Hutch added the medical oncology portion to offer other treatments.

“It really helped complement the radiation oncology center so we could offer everything in one clinic,” Marzbani said. “The idea of the community clinic is to really allow patients to get expert-level care closer to home so they don’t have to travel all the way to Seattle. There’s a lack of services in Kitsap when it comes to healthcare. The population has grown but we haven’t seen the same ratio increase when it comes to medical services.”

Marzbani mentioned that opening during the pandemic had its complications, but the one benefit was accelerating the transition to new technologies to connect physicians. He said the pandemic didn’t really affect cancer patients who were already receiving treatment but said one of the tragedies was people putting off age-appropriate cancer screenings.

“Now that people are coming back to healthcare, I think we’re seeing more advanced cancers that would have been caught earlier,” Marzbani said.

While the clinic has been open for nearly five years, Marzbani said many people don’t even realize Fred Hutch cancer care is available locally.

“I don’t think the word has really gotten out that we’re there,” he said. “I’ve met a number of patients who said, ‘I would have come to you years before but I just realized you existed.’”

The clinic is located at 19917 7th Ave. NE, Suite 100 on the first floor of the Peninsula Medical Building. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. New patients may request an appointment by calling 360-697-8000.