Our history and foundation to providing high quality patient care.
The origins of Northwest Medical Specialties can be traced back to the merger in 1998 between Tacoma-based Infections Limited and Hematology Oncology Northwest.
Infections Limited was founded in 1979 by Dr. Alan Tice as a solo medical practice specializing in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. Since that time the practice has added six physicians and greatly expanded the services it offers. All physicians are Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. Though its physicians continue to provide general internal medicine services, its primary focus now is the treatment of serious infections and immune disorders.
Hematology Oncology Northwest was founded by Dr. Frank Senecal in 1985. Its team of physicians are Board Certified in a variety of areas including Internal Medicine, Oncology and Hematology. Though the physicians provide general internal medicine services, the practice’s primary focus is the treatment of cancer in both the hospital and outpatient setting. Its physicians are active in cancer research and established, in tandem with St. Joseph Hospital, Tacoma Washington’s only bone marrow transplantation program.
The partnership of Infections Limited and Hematology Oncology Northwest facilitated the introduction of a “new line” of medical services in the Tacoma area, namely the provision of integrated cancer treatment and infectious diseases services in the same physician clinic.
Merging the operations of both practices has had a synergistic effect beneficial to both medical groups with the creation of internal economies of scale to improve operating efficiencies. This is particularly relevant for medical practices offering infusion, ad-mix and clinical laboratory services. All of these services require significant investment of state-of-the-art technology. Consequently, providing these services results in high, fixed overhead costs, which are independent of patient volumes. Combining patient volumes of the two practices has resulted in a reduction of fixed overhead costs per patient. This strengthens the ability of NWMS to continue to provide high quality, cost-effective care while competitors contemplate “cutting corners” on patient care in response to shrinking reimbursement.
The most recent change was the addition of Rainier Hematology-Oncology in March of 2007. Rainier Hematology-Oncology was established as a solo private practice by Dr. Ron Goldberg in 1989. Dr. Richard “Dick” Ostenson joined them in 1990, and Dr. Robert McCroskey in 1991. It became a part of Good Samaritan Hospital in 1991 and remained as such until the merger. The practice further expanded with the addition of Dr. Sibel Blau in 2001 and Dr. Andrea Rose in 2004. Dr. Goldberg retired in 2004, but recently came out of retirement to rejoin the practice in 2010. Dr. Ostenson passed away in December 2005.
NWMS founded Quality Cancer Care Alliance (QCCA) on September 10, 2015. QCCA started with 6 independent practices and over time, the organization grew to 20 independent practices with over 250 physicians, 1150 Advanced Practice Providers and other specialists.
With a strong partnership and shared vision for high quality community cancer care, the two oncology divisions of NWMS, Rainier Hematology Oncology and Hematology Oncology Northwest merged to become NWMS Hematology Oncology.
Quality Cancer Care Alliance (QCCA) voted unanimously in favor of becoming a clinically integrated network (CIN) on a national level, making it the first of its kind in terms of geographic coverage. Comprised of 20 independently owned and operated practices located across the continental United States and Hawaii, QCCA was founded to improve the quality of care by marshaling the most effective therapies, diagnostics, processes and research in the service of its patients