Cancer Care Program for Integrated Care
In general, all people want to believe that if they or someone they know gets cancer, they will have access to and receive health care of the highest quality. However, each individual experience with cancer is unique, affected by the type of cancer and the extent to which it has progressed.
This experience is also influenced by socioeconomic status, insurance coverage, geographic location, and culturally based attitudes and beliefs. Like many other, chronic illnesses efforts to diagnose and treat cancer typically begin with and are guided by an individual’s primary care or family physician. Once a diagnosis is made, numerous health professionals in hospitals, clinics, and private offices may all be involved throughout the care continuum, which includes screening, early detection, treatment, follow-up, palliative care, and sometimes end-of-life care. For some, the best treatment option may depend on state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, which may or may not be available close to home.
Developing a System-Wide Program of Excellence
In recent years, PAMF has developed a multi-year plan to expand and enhance cancer services by establishing a system-wide Cancer Care Program of Excellence. The first of its kind in the organization’s history, the program was designed by cancer care physicians, specialists and patients to build infrastructure and elevate the overall sophistication of care. Now in its third year of implementation, the program offers an integrated, state-of-the-art network of services provided at several locations throughout PAMF’s four-county service area. While the initial focus of the program is to enhance and expand services offered to current PAMF patients, it is designed to accommodate growing numbers of patients for many years to come.
Highlights of the Cancer Care Program
- Strong commitment to enhance the patient's experience
- Seamless referrals for care
- Open and frequent communications
- Patient-friendly approach to every episode of diagnosis, treatment and support
- Cancer services linked by a system-wide vision and a common set of medical standards
- Overseen by a cancer program director and medical directors who share responsibility over all sites of service
- Tracking and patient safety ensured by a common cancer IT system, including PAMF’s unparalleled electronic health record system
- A commitment to cutting-edge research vis-à-vis a collaborative relationship with PAMF’s Research Institute
- Specific projects under the umbrella of this system-wide program include: Breast Imaging Center in Palo Alto, Infusion Therapy Center in Fremont, and the Community Cancer Care Center in Sunnyvale
Overall, PAMF has made impressive efforts in recent years and remains dedicated to quality cancer care. There is still more to do, however, if we are to continue to fulfill this mission and responsibility. For more information on how you can support this program, please contact Liz Kolcun, chief development officer, at 650-934-3508 or e-mail KolcunL@sutterhealth.org.
Make a donation to the Cancer Care Program of Excellence