April 9 marked the opening of the new Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center at Swedish, a historic milestone for Swedish Medical Center and the Puget Sound MS community. The MS Center at Swedish is the largest, most comprehensive facility of its kind on the west coast and one of only a handful in the country. Take a virtual tour.

This center is the result of a shared effort between Swedish and the patient community that has been pushing for this kind of resource for nearly two decades. Outstanding philanthropic support has played a critical role in allowing Swedish to deliver a benchmark program that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible in today’s health care environment. More than $3.36 million in generous community support has been secured for the MS Center to date, including $642,500 raised for the project at Celebrate Swedish on May 12. Philanthropy continues to play an essential role in bringing the vision of a truly comprehensive MS center to life.

Carefully designed for easy accessibility and to promote the well-being of people living with MS, the new MS Center on the A level of the Swedish/Cherry Hill campus will give patients and families unique access to a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals dedicated solely to the disease.

The 11,700 square-foot space – with an additional 1,500 square-foot outdoor therapy terrace – will provide not only the latest medical treatments to alleviate symptoms, but also physical, occupational and speech therapies, cognitive rehabilitation, nutritional consultation, ophthalmologic and urologic services. Every detail of the space, designed by global architecture firm, Callison, and built by Sabey Construction, has been created entirely with MS patients in mind.

The center will include comprehensive wellness services as well as a variety of exercise programs offered in a gym filled with equipment to specifically meet the needs of MS patients. The center will also include yoga classes, social workers, vocational counselors, individual and family support groups, rehab therapists and many educational resources. An on-site research facility will enable scientists, physicians, and patients to work collaboratively toward new treatment options for those diagnosed with MS.

More than $3.36 million in community support has been raised to date toward the $7.8 million cost to build the facility and outfit it with a multidisciplinary team of providers and truly comprehensive programs. Eleven lead donors have contributed gifts of $100,000 or more to the project, including Richard and Betty Hedreen and Jim and Gaye Pigott, who have collectively donated $1 million to the new center. With the high prevalence of MS in our region, it is fitting that our community is joining together to set the new benchmark for MS care. The National MS Society’s Northwest Chapter says more than 12,000 people in Washington state, Montana and Alaska have the disease. Approximately 9,500 of those cases are in Washington state, one of the highest incidence rates in the country.

We hope that Swedish’s targeted focus on MS helps provide answers for the many patients in our community who are battling the disease. And we hope you’ll be a part of the success. With the community’s help, the Swedish Medical Center Foundation is committed to securing approximately $1.64 million in additional philanthropic funds to advance essential programming and clinical research efforts at the new MS Center. To learn more about helping Swedish set the benchmark for world-class MS care, please contact Colleen Bromen, assistant director of major gifts, at (206) 386-3527 or colleen.bromen@swedish.org.

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