New Walnut Creek Cancer Center Brings Specialty Care Close to Home

UCSF Health and John Muir Health partner to open new center to expand cancer prevention, treatment and care in the East Bay.

By Elizabeth Fernandez

The Behring Pavilion, a modern building with a white facade and large glass windows, amongst a backdrop of a light blue sky.

The UCSF-John Muir Health Jean and Ken Hofmann Cancer Center at the Behring Pavilion opened today, bringing a full spectrum of leading-edge cancer care close to home for people in the East Bay and surrounding areas.

The state-of-the art center is an important step in UCSF Health’s vision of creating a world-class health network to provide advanced prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care throughout the Bay Area. The new 155,000 square foot facility is located on the campus of John Muir Health’s Walnut Creek Medical Center.

“The new cancer center is a huge milestone in our nearly decade-long collaboration to enhance access to care for East Bay communities with John Muir Health,” said Shelby Decosta, president of the UCSF Health Care Network and senior vice president at UCSF Health. “Our partnership with John Muir Health is built on the same value of trust that we know oncology patients and their families will rely on as they receive care from both of our organizations closer to home.”

The new patient-centered location will help patients in the East Bay seamlessly navigate their cancer journey, offering access to a range of oncology services in one location. With the connection to UCSF Health, patients also will benefit from the expertise of top cancer subspecialists, as well as expanded clinical trial enrollment. Unifying these services will allow care teams to work together in a cohesive, multi-disciplinary fashion from diagnosis to treatment and recovery.

Center addresses growing need for support and care

More than 135,000 Contra Costa County residents are currently living with cancer and nearly 13,000 people are newly diagnosed each year. With an aging population, rising incidence among younger adults and significant increase in cancer survivors, those numbers continue to grow.

The new center aims to address that need with a panoply of cancer services, including radiation oncology treatments, outpatient infusions, clinical trials, genetic and nutrition counseling, and survivorship programs in one site. It also will include nurse navigators and social services, an on-site pharmacy and clinical cancer research.

When patients walk into this building, they have UCSF and John Muir Health behind them ...”

Alan Ashworth, PhD

“The UCSF-John Muir Health Jean and Ken Hofmann Cancer Center is a symbol of healing and hope in the face of adversity,” said Tiffany Svahn, MD, president of the John Muir Health Cancer Medical Group and medical director of cancer services. “This building is to honor our patients and those of us who work in oncology. We know what a privilege it is to work in this field and to work with cancer patients and to be let into their lives at such a critical and difficult time. Within these walls, exceptional clinicians and staff will be working side-by-side with our patients during their cancer journeys through screening, diagnosis and treatment.”

The UCSF-John Muir Health network of specialists will offer disease-specific treatments for numerous cancers, including breast, pancreatic, head and neck, lung, thyroid and prostate, as well as uterine and ovarian cancers, hematologic malignancies, and sarcomas. Through joint tumor boards, a team of specialists from both organizations will review individual patients’ cases to recommend the most comprehensive approach to each person’s treatment.

Patients also will continue to have streamlined access to second opinions from a UCSF Health physician and to clinical trials through UCSF Health’s QCARE (Quality/ Communication/ Access/Research/ Education) program, in which John Muir Health is a member.

Partnership expands access to outstanding care

The collaboration fulfills a vision to provide world-class treatment advances close to home, combining the expertise of specialists at both health organizations.

“This is a partnership between two organizations that are deeply committed to providing outstanding care — and expanding access to patients in the region is a critical part of that commitment,” said Alan Ashworth, PhD, president of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and senior vice president for Cancer Services with UCSF Health.

“When patients walk into this building, they have UCSF and John Muir Health behind them, which will give them confidence that they will receive the best treatments available anywhere in the world,” Ashworth said.

The first UCSF-John Muir Health Cancer Network location opened in February 2020 in the Berkeley Outpatient Center, which is jointly operated by UCSF Health and John Muir Health. Additional locations include Brentwood, Concord, San Ramon and Vallejo.

UCSF Health is recognized worldwide for its innovative patient care, medical knowledge, advanced technology and pioneering research. Consistently ranking among the finest hospitals in the nation, UCSF Health has affiliations with hospitals and health organizations throughout the Bay Area. John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization serving patients in Contra Costa, eastern Alameda, and southern Solano Counties.

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A wall with signage that reads Jean and Ken Hoffman Cancer Center, with logos for John Muir Health and UCSF Health.
Photo by Raymond Ibale