Nurses, doctors, and donors are excited about what's taking shape inside
Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
Above, from left, Kathleen Newman, APRN, radiation oncology nurse, JoAnne
Finck, chair of the Cancer Center fund-raising campaign, medical oncologist
Sean Mullally, MD, and Kelly Dillon, RRT, radiation oncology manager, tour
the new cancer center.
Imagine hearing these words:
“You have cancer.”
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is life-changing. It triggers a universe of emotions for those diagnosed and for their loved ones. Pioneer Valley residents who are facing a cancer diagnosis — or know someone who is — will have access to the same level of care locally as they could receive in Boston when the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital opens this fall.
Expanded Cancer Services at Cooley Dickinson
The Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital exemplifies the future of cancer care in our community. Because cancer is a complex disease, it takes a seamless relationship between community hospitals and academic medical centers to provide coordinated, timely care and treatment to newly diagnosed residents and others who are living with cancer.
Cooley Dickinson’s new cancer center brings access to Mass General Cancer Center specialists, protocols, and genetic counseling, among other services, to the local community.
“Mass General Cancer Center is expanding what we can offer as a community hospital,” said Mark Novotny, MD, chief medical officer. “Being able to give patients access to the latest treatment possibilities and working through a care plan locally in collaboration with some of the world’s experts is a huge advantage,” Novotny said.
Convenient Location, Multidisciplinary Approach
The new cancer center is designed to coordinate care so all members of the patient’s care team — medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists as well as oncology nurses, nutritionists, chaplains, pharmacists, and physical therapists — are available in one location for various appointments. This saves time and offers convenience for people who need access to multiple specialists.
Known in medicine as multidisciplinary care, this approach is one of the cornerstones of the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. “One of our long-term goals is to have new patients meet with their medical and radiation oncologists, as well as their surgeon, and leave with one treatment plan,” said Sean Mullally, MD, a medical oncologist and medical director of the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
In addition, the new center offers the physical space for a patient to have a nutritional consultation in one room as well as an appointment with his or her physical therapist in an adjacent area.
An expanded pharmacy, across the hall from the new cancer center, offers patients the same treatment regimens, protocols, and safety for chemotherapy and radiation as the Mass General Cancer Center.
“This is about getting Mass General Cancer Center quality at Cooley Dickinson Hospital,” said Mullally. In addition, the oversight of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center means people newly diagnosed or living with cancer no longer need to decide if they should go to Boston for care. “They can come here and their team will help them decide what care they should receive and where,” added Mullally.
‘Bays’ with a View
| Artist's rendering of the infusion bay at the Mass General Cancer Center at
Infusion bays within the new cancer center are where patients receive chemotherapy. The spacious infusion bays feature comfortable chairs, personal televisions and
Wi-Fi, as well as room for a caregiver. These spaces also offer views of a bucolic mural on a wall immediately outside the center and Childs Park in the distance. Infusion rooms are available for those requiring more privacy.
Coordinated Treatment Planning Reviews
Collaboration across cancer specialties also takes place in radiation oncology, located two floors below the new cancer center. Cooley Dickinson’s radiation oncologists and physicists work with physicians and physicists from the Mass General Department of Radiation Oncology.
“By using computer treatment planning technology, we create individualized treatment plans,” said Linda Bornstein, MD, radiation oncologist and medical director of radiation oncology. Of the centralized cancer services that will be offered in the new center, “this is very much a coordinated, team effort,” added Bornstein.
Questions about the new Cancer Center? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org