Big changes are in the works — and some already have occurred — at Overlake Medical Center

By all definitions, last fall‘s unveiling of Overlake Medical Center’s $20 million cancer center was a big deal.

The center’s patient-centered design already is saving lives and helping patients and their families feel at ease, with its dedicated entrance, single check-in area, valet service, consultation rooms, on-site financial services, beauty-related services, and an infusion “party room” where patients can visit with others while receiving treatment.

“A cancer patient’s difficult journey involves a myriad of testing, diagnosis, treatment, and support,” said Cancer Center Medical Director Kristi Harrington. “It requires the patient and his or her family to navigate hospitals; make multiple appointments; coordinate transportation to, from, and between different doctors’ offices — all of which is time-consuming, physically painful, and exhausting. Our goal is to eliminate this unnecessary stress by streamlining the process and coordinating care in one central location.”

Overlake Medical CenterStill, the center is just one big change among many planned for Overlake throughout the next several years as part of its $270 million, three-phase Project FutureCare campus expansion. The crux of the project, a new 240,000-square-foot, 5-story inpatient tower, will offer larger single-patient rooms that will combine space for visiting family as well as state-of-the-art technology.

“For decades to come, this organization will continue the legacy of providing world class healthcare, serving the growing families and employers of this area in their health and wellness needs,” said Overlake CEO J. Michael Marsh.

Particular emphasis will be put on a new mom-baby center and childbirth center with couplet care rooms. These rooms would combine a typical post-partum recovery room with Level II NICU services, the first of its kind in Washington state. Moreover, parents of premature babies will benefit from the facility’s Angel Eye cameras, which allow parents to monitor and even speak to their child through the closed-circuit video feed long after the parents have been discharged.

Also on the docket are two new operating suites with hybrid technology, one state-of-the-art cardiac suite, an expanded Behavioral Health Unit, improved laboratory and pharmacy services, and a dedicated emergency room entrance off Northeast 10th Street for expedited patient drop-off.

Moreover, the new construction plans to increase the amount of natural light in interior spaces, and add park-like landscaping as part of the hospital’s Urban to Trail concept. The manicured pedestrian-friendly walkways eventually will connect to Sound Transit’s Wilburton station, two blocks away.

“The Pacific Northwest is one of the world’s most naturally beautiful areas with the lakes and the mountains. What we’re doing with Project FutureCare is reflecting the nature of our environment in an advanced, modern medical facility,” Marsh said. “Natural beauty and modernization can co-exist side-by-side. By incorporating the concept of Urban to Trail, we will be reflecting an individual’s journey through their health care experience that matches their journey in their home environment.”

Overlake plans to break ground on the addition May 9. The third and final phase of the project is slated to be completed sometime in 2023.