UT Medical Center continues to learn from patients and families as it works to centralize all cancer care into one location and consolidate the amount of time required into fewer, better coordinated visits.As the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center finalizes its preparations for the Monday, Feb. 4, grand opening, UTMC will host a public open house for patients, UT employees and members of the community Friday, Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the center on Health Science Campus. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.
“At so many hospitals, patients have to drive all over the campus and return on multiple days for individual appointments because that is what is convenient for the hospital. We’ve put the patient at the center of our treatment efforts,” said Allen Seifert, administrative director of the center.
At the Dana Cancer Center, care coordinators guide patients through all steps of their care from the initial physical examination through their treatment program. Treatment plans are developed working with surgical, medical and radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, primary care physicians, oncology nursing staff and social workers.
Appointments are planned back to back as patients move from one treatment or diagnostic specialist to the next all according to the treatment plan developed beforehand with the patient and the team of caregivers.
“Each patient is evaluated for possible participation in several ongoing clinical trials,” said Norma Tomlinson, UTMC interim executive director. “Our national status as an academic medical center means that patients treated in the Dana Cancer Center will have early access to the latest and most promising solutions to their cancer. At UTMC, world-renowned researchers and clinicians work together to enhance care for patients who become resistant to standard therapies.”
“In addition to being the first in the region to focus on university-based cancer care for the convenience of the patient, UTMC is continuing its tradition as an innovator in cutting-edge cancer care technology,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gold, chancellor and executive vice president for biosciences and health affairs, and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, referencing one of the most advanced radiation delivery systems available.
Currently, the Dana Cancer Center is the only facility locally to offer the TrueBeamTM Varian Linear Accelerator, which enables more precise radiation delivery at a 50 percent faster rate than all conventional systems. This means treatment is shorter, more deadly to cancer cells, and less damaging to surrounding healthy tissue. Seifert also emphasized the center’s commitment to cancer care that goes beyond technology and physicians.
“We’re offering complementary and integrative therapies and specialized exercise classes that are all geared toward the wellness factors that are important for the treatment of cancer,” Seifert said. “Yes, we have the most advanced technology, but we also have massage and aromatherapy sessions available. Cancer is a disease that affects whole families and it affects body, mind and spirit. We’re working very hard to address all of these components in our treatments.”
Other offerings will include:
• Cancer support group meetings and public education sessions;
• Genetic counseling;
• Chemotherapy treatment rooms with Internet, TV, Wi-Fi and other amenities;
• On-site advanced mammogram, ultrasound, X-ray and PET/CT services;
• Easy access to lab for blood draws;
• Mind and body therapy/services and patient support — patient navigation assistance through the facility, nutrition therapy, survivorship care, palliative care, pastoral care, and financial counseling and social services; and
• Holistic Care Center.