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MOMENTS IN MEDICINE
Fall | Winter 2008

Westward Expansion

New Cancer Center Opens in West Omaha

Charles Enke, MD

When you need healthcare, you want it to be convenient and you want the best. Now you can have both. Responding to West Omaha’s growing suburban population, The Nebraska Medical Center is committed to ensuring quality and comprehensive healthcare is in your neighborhood. Answering an increased demand for cancer services, The Nebraska Medical Center and the UNMC Physicians recently announced the opening of a new outpatient Cancer Center on the southeast corner of 180th Street and West Dodge Road, just west of the Village Pointe shopping area. The center includes outpatient clinics for cancer specialists to see patients as well as outpatient treatment options.

“Increasing demand for our services at The Nebraska Medical Center’s nationally-accredited cancer center requires us to expand our facilities,” says Glenn Fosdick, FACHE, president and CEO of The Nebraska Medical Center. “We feel there is no better place to do that than in West Omaha. We want to make sure the highest level of cancer resources is available and convenient to this community.”

“Easy access and convenience are critical issues for cancer patients who may need multiple treatments and careful monitoring of their condition,” says Theresa Franco, Cancer Service Line Executive Director at The Nebraska Medical Center. “This new site will fulfill those needs. It provides the same high standard of care as that provided at our midtown campus with a full continuum of cancer care services from radiation oncology to treatment to survivorship.”

“Increasing demand for our services at The Nebraska Medical Center’s nationally-accredited cancer center requires us to expand our facilities.”
Glenn Fosdick, FACHE

“The new site allows patients who live in the western part of our city to receive those same services from internationally renowned specialists in cancer care without traveling to midtown Omaha,” says Julie Vose, MD, chief of Oncology/Hematology at UNMC.

The Nebraska Medical Center is recognized nationally and internationally for its cancer services and cutting-edge cancer treatments. It is one of only 60 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers in the United States. NCI-designated Cancer Centers are recognized for their scientific excellence and commitment to cancer treatment and research that focuses on the development of more effective approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and therapy.  

The Cancer Center in West Omaha offers state-of-the-art technology, clinical care and cancer research with clinical trial options that mirror many of the treatments and services delivered at The Nebraska Medical Center’s midtown campus. This includes medical therapies, radiology and laboratory support as well as radiation treatments.

Ann Yager and Theresa Franco

“The Nebraska Medical Center is a leader in our community for providing new radiation oncology technologies and treatment options for patients,” says Charles Enke, MD, chairman of Radiation Oncology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Our new center offers cutting-edge radiation technology and treatment options that complement the services offered at The Nebraska Medical Center.”

Patients have access to a full team of experienced cancer specialists including medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurse practitioners, case managers, nutritionists and social service workers to provide patients a full-service, multidisciplinary approach to their care.

The Cancer Center also plans to provide complementary supportive services to help address the emotional and physical needs of patients such as physical rehabilitation, professional wig-fitting and cosmetic advice to help patients look and feel their best. In addition, a survivorship program has been developed to help patients deal with the emotional and physical challenges cancer can leave with its victims. These challenges include fear of recurrence, physical and medical long-term side effects and learning how to return to a normal life again.

“Patients want and are seeking out these additional supportive services,” says Ann Yager, director of the Cancer Center. “We realize that these are important components in supporting a patient’s full healing and long term recovery process.”

Julie Vose, MD

Internationally renowned specialists

People come from across the United States and around the world to seek the comprehensive cancer services offered at The Nebraska Medical Center. They come to see internationally renowned cancer specialists, many of whom have dedicated training in subspecialty areas of cancer. This includes areas such as breast cancer, head and neck, lymphomas and leukemias, orthopedics, brain, neurology and gastro intestinal cancer.

“These are physicians who are very focused and highly trained in the disease process related to a specific organ or part of the body,” says Franco. “This focus allows our doctors to stay abreast of all of the latest treatment options and to provide extremely customized care based on the type of cancer and a patient’s individual needs.”

Physicians are supported by a highly trained multi-disciplinary staff of healthcare professionals that includes nurses, pharmacists, technicians and social workers. These individuals work as a team to provide the best care possible. “The partnership between our physicians and support staff is critical,” says Franco. “Our doctors value the expertise and contributions they bring to the patient experience and view them as vital members on the team.”

Experience

Experience is another important element that separates The Nebraska Medical Center cancer program from others in the region. When managing a complex diagnosis such as cancer, the clinical expertise and experience of the physicians and other healthcare professionals is a critical component in providing patients a higher level of care. At The Nebraska Medical Center, not only do we treat large volumes of patients, but our physicians and clinical staff are some of the most specialized and experienced in the region.

Our new center offers cutting-edge radiation technology and treatment options that complement the services offered at The Nebraska Medical Center.”
Charles Enke, MD

“Larger volumes drive a higher level of clinical safety and clinical expertise that is instrumental to honing skills and truly understanding how to deliver optimal care,” says Franco. “We are very attuned to the experience levels of our healthcare staff and we have gone through great measures to ensure that same level of care is available at our Cancer Center in West Omaha.”

Technology

When it comes to treating cancer, having access to state-of-the-art technology can make a difference in outcome. Specialists at the Cancer Center perform highly specialized types of treatments with the most advanced and sophisticated equipment available to treat cancer and other conditions. This includes high-tech state-of-the-art equipment like intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), Novalis Shaped Beam surgery system that can target cancer in any location on the body and the Calypso system for image-guided radiation that can accommodate slight movements of organs during treatment. This state-of-the-art equipment allows our specialists to deliver very targeted radiation to our patients to achieve the best outcome while sparing noncancerous cells and oftentimes, greatly reducing the number of required treatments.


James Edney, MD, Chief of Surgical
Oncology at the University of
Nebraska Medical Center

Research

Ultimately, research is what sets academic medical centers apart from community hospitals. “Our commitment to research and clinical trials allows us to quickly move new therapies learned in research from the lab to the bedside,” says Franco.

As the primary teaching hospital for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, patients at The Nebraska Medical Center benefit tremendously from these clinical trials and innovative discoveries. Clinical trials allow patients to be some of the first to receive the safest, most up-to-date and sometimes revolutionary treatments.

“Clinical research gives us access to new medications that are being tested to improve disease control or other toxicities derived from treatment that otherwise would not be available to our patients,” notes Dr. Vose.

“The healthcare professionals at The Nebraska Medical Center are committed to continually working toward advancing care and challenging ourselves to provide more effective treatments to our patients,” says Franco. “Our new Cancer Center in West Omaha offers a premier cancer program that addresses all the needs of the patient and family and it’s convenient and accessible.”

Next article in the Fall | Winter 2008 issue of One Thousand And One:
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