M. D. Anderson Patient Care, Services Branch Out Into Neighboring Communities
For the first time in the institution’s 66-year history, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has established a comprehensive clinical care center beyond its main campus in the Texas Medical Center. The M. D. Anderson Cancer Center - Clinical Care Center in the Bay Area, on the campus of CHRISTUS St. John Hospital at 18100 St. John Drive in Nassau Bay, opens to patients July 2.
Through an agreement with CHRISTUS St. John Hospital, M. D. Anderson has been offering radiation therapy on St. John’s campus since February 2007. When services expand this month, the Clinical Care Center also will offer medical oncology, chemotherapy, diagnostic testing, laboratory services and a pharmacy for patients as well as a blood donation center.
M. D. Anderson currently operates three satellite radiation treatment centers in the greater Houston area in Bellaire, Richmond and The Woodlands, as well as a center in Albuquerque, NM. An additional radiation treatment center is scheduled to open in Katy in September 2007.
The mission of the Clinical Care Center is to “extend M. D. Anderson’s expertise and services from Houston’s Texas Medical Center to a familiar setting,” according to Matthew T. Ballo, M.D., associate professor in the Division of Radiation Oncology and medical director of Clinical Care Center in the Bay Area. “For many of our patients, treatment involves radiation or chemotherapy administered daily over a course of many days or weeks,” Ballo says. “We realize that daily trips to the Texas Medical Center add to the anxiety patients and their caregivers may feel. Having access to M. D. Anderson’s multidisciplinary care and services closer to home will make treatment less daunting for some.”
Ballo is joined by Amy Hassan, M.D. and Craig Kovitz, M.D. - both medical oncologists. This team of physicians will treat most types of cancer, including solid tumors as well as benign conditions and blood diseases. Pediatric patients will continue to be seen at the Children’s Cancer Hospital at M. D. Anderson’s main campus.
“We are pleased to have M. D. Anderson, one of the world’s most respected cancer centers, on our campus,” said Jeffrey Moore, M.D., chief of staff at St. John Hospital. "This collaboration allows us to offer a continuum of cancer patient care including research, education and prevention. For community members who would otherwise travel to The Texas Medical Center for expertise, this Clinical Care Center offers the convenience of outstanding cancer care without the burden of a commute.
The care offered at the Clinical Care Center in the Bay Area will reflect M. D. Anderson’s multidisciplinary approach. M. D. Anderson physicians will work closely with surgeons and pathologists at CHRISTUS St. John. M. D. Anderson also will hold weekly “tumor board” meetings open to all physicians in the Bay Area to develop comprehensive treatment plans with input from physicians at the main campus.
In addition to cancer treatment, patients in the Bay Area will have access to a wide range of psychosocial and clinical support services offered at M. D. Anderson’s main campus, including social work, rehabilitation services and nutritional counseling. M. D. Anderson and CHRISTUS St. John will work together to provide the community with educational resources for cancer prevention and information, including community seminars, cancer support groups and speaker’s bureau.
In addition to Drs. Ballo, Hassan and Kovitz, the center will employ up to 50 M. D. Anderson employees including registered nurses, pharmacists, phlebotomists and other support staff who have been trained at M. D. Anderson’s main campus. Anderson Network volunteers will also provide support in the Bay Area.
Patients seeking treatment at M. D. Anderson in the Bay Area may self-refer or get a referral from their physicians. For more information about the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center - Clinical Care Center in the Bay Area, visit www.mdanderson.org/bayarea or call 1-877-MDA-6789.
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