More Breast Services at One Hundred Oaks
September 17, 2010 | Dagny Stuart
Beginning Sept. 20, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) will begin consolidating additional breast cancer services, including chemotherapy, at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks.
In addition to undergoing surveillance and diagnostic testing at the Vanderbilt Breast Center, breast cancer patients will be able to see their physicians and receive chemotherapy in one convenient location, without moving back and forth from the main campus.
Ingrid Meszoely, M.D., assistant professor of Surgery, said the changes are designed to make breast cancer services more convenient for patients.
“Now we will be able to see our patients in one facility and patients can minimize their visits to see their surgeons and their medical oncologists,” said Meszoely, clinical director of the Vanderbilt Breast Center.
“If there is a question about a patient’s case, we can simply walk down the hall to consult with another specialist. We have already started notifying patients about the move and they have been very enthusiastic about receiving so many of our services under one roof.”
Chemotherapy for breast cancer patients will be delivered down the hall from the Vanderbilt Breast Center in the Medical Infusion Clinic at One Hundred Oaks.
Experienced oncology nurses have moved from the VICC chemotherapy center to the Medical Infusion Clinic at One Hundred Oaks and existing infusion staff members have been trained to provide chemotherapy services. The Infusion Clinic also is expanding its hours to accommodate the schedules of chemotherapy patients.
VICC medical oncologists who specialize in breast cancer are moving their practices to the Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks campus.
Ingrid Mayer, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine, calls the consolidation a win-win for everybody.
“The patients are the ones that benefit the most from having everybody under one roof,” said Mayer.
“It’s a one-stop shop and patients will be able to see the surgical oncologist and the medical oncologist on the same day. They will have an opportunity to be more educated about the disease and will leave the clinic with a complete understanding of their whole treatment plan and a better sense of what is ahead of them.”
Patients returning for follow-up care also will be able to see their physicians and get a mammogram and any additional breast imaging in the same location.
Having most of the medical team together should also make it easier to identify patients who are eligible for clinical research trials designed to test new therapies.
Mayer and Meszoely said planning for the consolidation allowed the medical providers to review the efficiency of current services and to streamline the systems for patient care.
As a result, the Breast Center named Sheryl Redlin-Frazier as manager of patient care services. Norma Campbell, nurse coordinator, now manages the patient access team which coordinates information and services for all new patient visits.
The Breast Center also hired a nurse practitioner, additional registered nurses, appointment schedulers and front desk staff to handle the increased patient load.
“I think it’s the opportunity to deliver much better care in a more integrated fashion,” said Mayer.
Some breast cancer services will remain on the main VICC campus, including radiation oncology, blood transfusions and nuclear imaging, and patients will still undergo surgery at the Medical Center. Patients enrolled in Phase 1 clinical trials also will receive their treatments at the main VICC campus.
Photo by Joe Howell
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