2008 V2 Perkins Perspective

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Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center publishes Perkins Perspective, a newsletter to provide cancer information and programs of interest to the medical community, donors, cancer patients and their families and friends.


  • MBP Expands to HoumaPage 2

    National Selection forPatient NavigationPage 4

    NCCCP: The First YearPage 8

    MBP Expands to HoumaPage 2

    National Selection forPatient NavigationPage 4

    NCCCP: The First YearPage 8

    PERSPECTIVEFighting Cancer for Over 35 Years. Volume 2 2008Available Online at www.marybird.orgFighting Cancer for Over 35 Years. Volume 2 2008Available Online at www.marybird.org

    Renea A. Duffin, who leads MBPs early detection efforts, explains the concept of a patientnavigator to cancer screening participant Judy Thymes. Read more about Patient Navigation onpage 4.



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  • 2 Perkins Perspective Fighting Cancer for Over 35 Years.



    A new cancer alliance has been formed providing the mostcomprehensive and state-of-the-art cancer care available topatients in the Bayou region. Terrebonne General MedicalCenter (TGMC), Cancer Care Specialists (CCS) andMary Bird Perkins Cancer Center (MBP) have signed anagreement to provide strategic, long-term solutions forbattling cancer in the Bayou region through acomprehensive cancer program located on the TGMCcampus.

    The program offers a full continuum of cancer care, fromprevention and early detection to diagnosis, treatment,recovery and survivorship. The program provides surgery,chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as advancedresources and support services necessary to strengthencancer care including medical physics expertise,diagnostic imaging, pathology, clinical research, nutritionand social services. In addition to providing expert physicians andtreatment, the program also brings critical community-basedcancer screenings and educational outreach programs to the area.The new partnership will be known as Mary Bird Perkins CancerCenter at TGMC.

    Together, we are providing an important

    need local access to quality cancer care. We

    are delighted to partner with Mary Bird

    Perkins and Cancer Care Specialists to meet

    this incredible and important need.

    Phyllis Peoples, president and CEO, TGMC

    This partnership will provide access to high-quality,multidisciplinary cancer care and research in Terrebonne Parish one of the fastest growing parishes in southeast Louisiana. Webelieve that local access to enhanced care for the convenience ofthe community and the combined, expert resources of these threeorganizations are meeting the vital needs of cancer patients in thearea, said Dr. Raul Doria, medical director, MBP at TGMC,

    physician partner of CCS, whose medical group has over 45 yearsof combined experience in caring for cancer patients.

    The resources of Mary Bird Perkins, TGMC and CCS representa powerful combination in the fight against cancer. We arehonored to be a part of this community and to serve cancerpatients with this state-of-the-art cancer care team, said ToddStevens, president and CEO, MBP.

    Mary Bird Perkins believes communities benefit when theexpertise of hospitals, local physicians, support organizations andthe cancer-only focus of MBP are linked together to form acomprehensive cancer program and such is the case with thenew partnership with TGMC and CCS.

    Mary Bird Perkins currently operates comprehensive cancerprograms with two other partner hospitals Our Lady of theLake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge and St. TammanyParish Hospital in Covington. Mary Bird Perkins has a thirdfacility in Hammond and is currently developing a 5th locationin Gonzales in partnership with St. Elizabeth Hospital.

    For further details about MBP at TGMC, please visitwww.marybird.org.

    Terrebonne Parish Now Home toComprehensive Cancer CareAlliance Formed Provides Combined Expertise, Leading-Edge Technology

    Speakers at the press conference included (l to r): Todd Stevens, presidentand CEO, MBP; Donna Saurage, board of directors, MBP; Jerri Smitko,chairwoman, board of commissioners, TGMC; Phyllis Peoples, presidentand CEO, TGMC; Maurice King, M.D., medical director, MBP; andRaul Doria, M.D., medical director, MBP at TGMC, and physicianpartner, Cancer Care Specialists.

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  • Fwww.marybird.org Volume 2 2008

    A message from

    Todd D. Stevens, president and CEO

    My Perspective

    Fighting cancer cannot be done alone. Partnerships andlegions of people are needed to expand multi-facetedinitiatives to build healthier communities. We are grateful toour longstanding and dedicated partners. Our reachcontinues to grow wider and deeper as we develop morepartnerships to serve even more cancer patients.

    The vision of MBPs founders to provide local access tohigh quality cancer care is being realized today incommunities across southeast Louisiana. Our newestpartners are Terrebonne General Medical Center (TGMC)and Cancer Care Specialists (CCS) in Houma, LA where wehave joined forces to provide comprehensive cancer serviceson the TGMC campus. And, construction at the Mary BirdPerkins location in Gonzales in partnership with St.Elizabeth Hospital is moving forward.

    In addition, Womans Hospital and Mary Bird Perkins havecome together under the umbrella of WomansComprehensive Breast Care using a multidisciplinaryapproach to fighting breast cancer.

    One of our comprehensive cancer programs, the CancerProgram of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins,recently earned a three-year approval with eleven totalcommendations from the American College of Surgeons(ACoS) Commission on Cancer (CoC).

    We have just finished the First Year with our nationalpartners as part of the NCI Community Cancer CentersProgram (NCCCP) pilot.

    Mary Bird Perkins received further national recognition thisyear as we received one of only five patient navigation grantsin the United States a grant that will make a real differencefor cancer screening patients.

    Because of the many sponsors, volunteers, players and eventsupporters, the Taste of Louisiana and the 2008 Mary BirdPerkins Merrill Lynch Open were both awesome events.Mary Bird Perkins sincerely applauds all of you whoparticipated in these events, in whatever capacity, for yourcommitment to helping save lives.

    I hope you enjoy reading about all of the collaborativeinitiatives under way, and thank you to all of our manycommunity partners for your tremendous support.


    Todd D. StevensPresident and CEO

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  • P4 Perkins Perspective Fighting Cancer for Over 35 Years.

    Despite tremendous scientific advances, some populations in theUnited States bear a heavier burden of cancer particularly thepoor and underserved. This is evidenced by their high cancerincidence and mortality and lower survival rates. Programsdesigned to promote the early detection of cancer among thesepopulations are continually faced with health care system andpatient-based delays that undermine the effectiveness of earlydetection. Enter patient navigation. The challenge of clinicalfollow-up amid the complexities of todays health care system canpresent imposing barriers. Patient navigators are there to clear thepath to treatment and a timely therapeutic resolution. The CancerProgram of OLOL and MBP can now offer this help.

    Patients participating in free cancer screenings provided by theCancer Program of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary BirdPerkins and its partners will ultimately have additional helpwhen an abnormality is found. The Ralph Lauren Center forCancer Care and Prevention in Harlem, NY, founded by Dr.Harold Freeman, awarded a $105,000 grant to the CancerProgram to develop a patient navigation program. The patientnavigation program will enable the Cancer Program to takepatient follow-up to the next level by providing a dedicatedteam member, a patient navigator, to assist screening patientswhen an abnormality is found. The grant is for one year with anopportunity to apply for up to two additional years of grantsupport.

    When an abnormality is found during a screening, a patientnavigator will be assigned to the patient. The patient navigatorwill be responsible for making sure the patient understands theabnormality and will ensure the patient receives timely follow-up. This includes answering questions, assisting patients withappointments, and addressing barriers to care such as language,transportation and resolution of the abnormality. Charity Gay,MBP outreach coordinator, explained, Navigation gives us theopportunity to identify barriers that may prevent patients fromreceiving follow-up care. Once identified, those challenges canbe overcome and the patient can be guided in the rightdirection. Gwendolyn Bonton, another of MBPs outreachcoordinators, said, I see this process as very beneficial as it willgive the patient who comes to a screening a sense of comfort inknowing there is someone to guide them through an unknownmedical maze.

    The Cancer Program will operate a pilot patient navigationprogram for breast screening patients who are seen at screeningsconducted monthly at the LSU Mid City Clinic and Leo ButlerCommunity Center from June through August 31, 2008. Anevaluation of the pilot will be completed in September 2008,and the formal patient navigation program for all breast cancerscreening patients will begin in October 2008. Programs forprostate, skin and colorectal screening participants will be inplace by June 2009.

    Breast screenings are available to the underserved through apartnership with Womans Hospital. Cynthia Rabalais, director,Imaging Service, Womans Hospital, is thrilled about the movetoward formal patient navigation. This will takeprocrastination on the patients part out of the equation, andthats a big plus. The point is to keep everything movingforward toward a timely resolution.

    Following Through with Follow-UpThe Cancer Program of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins ReceivesOne of Five Nationwide Grants To Develop Patient Navigation Program


    The Cancer Program of Our Lady of the

    Lake and Mary Bird Perkins is the most

    comprehensive cancer program in its

    region. We are pleased to support the

    development of a patient navigation

    program that will assist in promoting more

    timely diagnosis and treatment, and in

    addition, help to reduce disparities in

    cancer care.

    Dr. Harold P. Freeman, senior advisor to

    the Director of the National Cancer

    Institute (NCI), director of the NCI

    Center to Reduce Health Disparities

    and president and founder of the

    Ralph Lauren Center for

    Cancer Care and Prevention

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  • www.marybird.org Volume 2 2008

    One of our main goals is to reduce disparities in cancer care.With grants like this one and through our participation in theNational Cancer Institute Community Cancer CentersProgram (NCCCP) pilot, we can achieve this goal, said ReneaA. Duffin, executive director, Mary Bird Perkins CARENetwork. By providing patient navigators to our patients, wecan ensure they receive timely care when its needed the most.That level of care can save lives, Duffin continued.

    Duffin and MBPs Early Detection Manager, Kate Messina,attended the Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute3-day training course in Harlem, New York earlier this year.Both are now certified in Patient Navigation. The traininghelped me understand that the ultimate goal of navigation isreducing the time to resolution, said Duffin. Helping thepatient overcome barriers often experienced in resolving anabnormal finding in a timely manner may be difficult. Seeinga system that has been in place for a number of years was a veryvaluable experience. Messina said it made her aware of howimportant it is to gain a patients trust and to learn to ask theright questions questions patients may be reluctant to bringup themselves.

    Grant funding provided by the Ralph Lauren Center forCancer Care and Prevention through the Pfizer Foundationwill be used to support a full-time patient navigator, a datatracking system and other miscellaneous costs associated withthe program. The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care andPrevention was the only program in the United States selectedto receive one of 17 worldwide grants from the PfizerFoundation. From that award, the Ralph Lauren Center forCancer Care and Prevention was awarded five patientnavigation grants.

    Dr. Freeman, world renowned African-American oncologist, isnoted for his work addressing cancer disparities. He is a highlysought-after expert on cancers impact on minoritypopulations along with poverty and health care access.Freeman pioneered the Patient Navigation concept in Harlem,the gold standard for patient navigation, to ensure thattraditionally underserved people receive the timely andsupportive assistance necessary to shepherd them through thecomplexities of the medical system.

    What Patient NavigationMeans to Patients

    At a recent breast screening at LSU Mid CityClinic, several women were asked to share theirthoughts about the new patient navigationprogram.

    I would take advantage of it for the

    support and encouragement. Everyone

    needs encouragement. It would help

    me to encourage someone else.

    Judy Thymes, featured on cover

    To have someone there to go through

    this with me during this time of need

    would mean a great deal. I wouldnt

    want to go through it alone. It would

    feel a whole lot better knowing

    someone was there to go through it

    with me to hold my hand.

    Janifer Griffin

    I would appreciate any kind of

    assistance I could get. Im raising five

    grandchildren plus one of my own, so

    I would be most appreciative of

    someone to just talk to.

    Linda Faye Jackson

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  • E6 Perkins Perspective Fighting Cancer for Over 35 Years.

    O N T H E L E A D I N G E D G E

    Elekta, a world class leader in advanced radiation therapy andradiosurgery, has been selected to supply new Elekta Synergydigital linear accelerator systems to Mary Bird Perkins CancerCenter over the next few years.

    The new Elekta Synergy systems will provide expanded capacityfor advanced image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) whichMary Bird Perkins began providing to patients four years ago.The new systems will provide for MBPs current locations as wellas the organizations long-term regional growth into new markets.MBP has locations in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond andHouma and is building a fifth location in Gonzales, LA.

    We believe that Elekta is first class in its field and providesdynamic, practical and reliable treatment options. Every cancercase is unique and personal, and Mary Bird Perkins makes surethat it has the best radiation therapy options available to ourtreatment team so every cancer patient has individualized,optimal treatment, said Todd Stevens, president and CEO,Mary Bird Perkins.

    Each of the estimated nine new treatment systems will include3D X-ray Volume Imaging (XVI) and some will includeElektaVMAT Volumetric Intensity Modulated Arc Therapy,enhancing MBPs intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)and...


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