SEATTLE, June 28, 2005 – The Reproductive Technology program at Swedish Medical Center/First Hill Campus is going through a major change later this summer. The existing Swedish lab, which is located in the Nordstrom Medical Tower, will close Friday, Aug. 5 and all services – including in vitro fertilization (IVF) – will transfer to the new Pacific Northwest Fertility Clinic on the 10th floor of the 1101 Madison Medical Tower – also located on the Swedish/First Hill Campus.
The new clinic will be owned and operated by longtime medical director of the Swedish program Lee Hickok, M.D., and Lorna Marshall, M.D., formerly of Virginia Mason. Other Swedish-affiliated physicians who will be using the new facility include Jane Uhlir, M.D., and Robert McIntosh, M.D.
"Swedish is very proud of its Reproductive Technology program and its accomplishments over the years, including the Northwest's first IVF pregnancy," said Brian Kuske, Swedish's vice president of Ambulatory and Ancillary Services. "However, given the changing landscape of the reproductive-technology market, we believe it makes sense to work cooperatively with the new, larger clinic rather than try to compete with it. The cooperative relationship will ensure that our patients will continue to have access to the entire continuum of obstetrical care."
Swedish is very confident in the services Drs. Hickok and Marshall will provide. By combining their resources, the two physicians will be well positioned to recruit and retain the highly specialized staff needed for this type of work. They will also be able to offer improved convenience for patients, such as providing a full range of services in a single location.
All services available in the existing Swedish lab will continue at the new lab. The only exception is the donor-sperm program, which will be phased out this summer.
To ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible for patients, Swedish is already in the process of communicating with them so they know about the change.
Regarding staffing, eight Swedish employees are being affected. Some will transition to the new clinic while others are being redeployed elsewhere within the Swedish system. Program Director Mary Forster, Ph.D., will be assisting with the transition. Having been instrumental in developing the program since its inception, she is confident that she is leaving the program in good hands with Drs. Hickok and Marshall.
Swedish is the largest, most comprehensive, nonprofit health provider in the Pacific Northwest. It is comprised of three hospital campuses (First Hill, Providence and Ballard), a new community-based emergency room and specialty center in Issaquah, Swedish Home Care Services and Swedish Physicians – a network of 12 primary-care clinics. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiac care, oncology, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, neurological care, sleep medicine, pediatrics, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org