Cancer Center of Santa Barbara could change the way Central Coast patients get care

Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara President Rick Scott at the construction site in Santa Barbara.
Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara President Rick Scott at the construction site in Santa Barbara.

Construction is underway on the new Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, a $53 million facility designed to provide cutting-edge technology for targeting and treating cancer.

The 54,000-square-foot building on West Pueblo Street will be a single location where patients can access all aspects of multidisciplinary care.

“We created this vision for a regional cancer center,” said Rick Scott, president of the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara. “Today, we are operating out of three different locations — we want to bring this all together in one place and one centralized gateway where patients can come to get their services.”

This is the largest project in the Cancer Center’s 67-year history, and the foundation’s goal is to ensure oncology care in the community is at the highest level, Scott said.

So far, $40 million has been donated through various donors; local philanthropist Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree gifted about $11 million, Scott said.

The Cancer Center of Santa Barbara and Sansum Clinic merged in 2012, and the new 3.4-acre campus is located one block from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and Sansum Clinic’s Pueblo Street location.

The center’s latest technology, research and supportive services will attract highly trained professionals from the nation’s top academic institutes, Scott said.

Some of the recruited physicians come from Stanford University and UCLA, he added.

When patients arrive, they will be greeted by the concierge service and a main lobby that’s adjacent to an 180-space parking garage.

The first floor features a resource library with cancer education and resource materials, a large conference room, social services, and advanced radiation oncology departments.

The building includes two high-definition radiation oncology treatment accelerators (Elekta Linear Accelerator), the same devices found at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The price for both is about $5.2 million, Scott said.

The device treats cancer from the inside and is used for precise treatment of various cancers including breast, skin, prostate, rectum and gynecological anatomy.

It also produces real-time, digital reconstruction of radiographs.

The two surgical oncology procedure rooms eliminate the need to enter the operating room or a separate medical space for minor procedures, Scott said. There will also be an on-site lab.

The building has space for support services such as counseling, financial assistance to patients unable to pay for medical expenses, genetic counseling, wellness programs and a variety of resources for patients and family members.

The third floor houses 27 infusion suites, including four private rooms with many featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and Oak Park.

Additional features at the center are a half-acre garden adjacent to the building with walking paths, benches and native landscaping.