The past couple of months have been eventful for our health system’s
cancer program. On March 16th, we broke ground for the new FRHS James M. Stockman Cancer Institute.
Slated for completion in mid-2017, the 62,000 square foot building will
provide state of the art facilities for our community’s cancer patients.
The building has been designed so that form follows function. Our care
givers and design team looked at how we deliver cancer care and designed
the building to optimize the space for both patients and providers. We
incorporated design features that create a healing environment, so that
the facility addresses the mind, body and spirit. Clinics are located
to facilitate collaboration between our cancer physicians and patient
navigators. Dedicated multidisciplinary space will allow us to offer coordinated,
patient centered treatment planning consultations for our newly diagnosed
cancer patients, bringing the doctors to the patient in a single visit.
Patients will be seen by their medical oncologist, radiation oncologist
and surgical oncologist in the comfort of spacious exam rooms. Care teams
will meet and come to agreement about a comprehensive treatment plan,
which will then be explained to the patient at the end of the visit. All
of the care will be coordinated by a Nurse Navigator, who will serve as
a touch point for that patient as they undergo treatment. Integrative
care, with enhanced complementary therapies will be available. This new
facility will be “the community’s Cancer Institute”
and the new space will allow us to hold more community outreach and educational sessions.
While a new Cancer Institute for our community is exciting and necessary,
a cancer program is more than a building; its people, expertise and technology.
While we are investing in facilities and technology, we are also investing
in people and expertise. We have a superb cancer program that has garnered
multiple national accreditations and awards for excellence. But that doesn’t
mean we can’t get even better. On May 9th, we announced that the FRHS cancer program has become the 14thcertified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson
Cancer Center, in the U.S. and the first in Maryland. Through this affiliation,
we now have access to clinical resources of a leader in the fight to cure
cancer. MD Anderson’s clinical guidelines and pathways, educational
conferences and symposia, treatment planning conferences and peer to peer
consultations with their world renowned faculty of cancer experts are
available to our cancer program and our MD Anderson Cancer Network Certified
Physicians. This brings a new level of expertise to our community and
the opportunity for even more of our patients to receive their cancer
care locally, close to home and family.
MD Anderson does not offer this affiliation to everyone and it does not
come easily. Our Cancer Center clinics, outpatient infusion center, inpatient
oncology unit, pharmacy, radiology department and pathology department
were all carefully scrutinized and the quality and safety of the care
they deliver verified. Our radiation therapists, radiation physicists
and pharmacists were carefully vetted. The education, training and credentials
of our Cancer Center medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and select
surgical oncology specialists were examined and the care that they render
was evaluated. In the end, our program and our physicians passed muster
and our program is now a certified member in MD Anderson Cancer Network
and our physicians are MD Anderson Cancer Network Certified Physicians.
An integral part of our relationship with the network will be continuous
measurement, benchmarking and reporting of the quality of our care. Through
this rigorous process, we will strive to continually elevate the level
of care that we provide.
Clinical excellence is important, but caring for patients with cancer must
address the mind, body and spirit. Cancer affects not just the physical
being, but the whole person and their loved ones. We have engaged with
the Samueli Institute to help create an Optimal Healing Environment for
our patients, their families and for our providers and staff. Samueli
utilizes an evidence based approach to help health care provider organizations
such as ours deliver truly patient centered care in a healing and supportive
environment. The goal is to optimize the experience of care and promote
patient engagement and healing. We believe that this approach benefits
our patients and is worthy of our efforts and our resources.
We are committed to providing the highest quality, most advanced, collaborative
and compassionate care to our community in a healing environment that
is close to home and family. That’s why we are here and why all
of us come to work every day.