Cincinnati—Western & Southern Financial has made a $2 million gift to the University of Cincinnati (UC) Foundation to help improve cancer care in Greater Cincinnati.
This initial gift will help fund a multi-year facility renovation of the UC Barrett Cancer Institute at University Hospital, an outpatient cancer facility located in Corryville.
The Barrett Cancer Center is part of a joint cancer program involving the UC College of Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and University Hospital. The collaborative initiative brings together interdisciplinary research teams of caring scientists and health professionals to research and develop new cures, while providing a continuum of care for children, adults and families with cancer.
“This generous gift represents a significant step toward securing the financial resources needed to upgrade our facility and support services to a level that matches our leadership role as we move toward designation as a comprehensive cancer center,” says Lee Ann Liska, senior vice president and executive director of University Hospital and a member of the joint cancer program leadership team.
Western & Southern’s gift will be directed toward phase-1 renovation improvements on the Barrett Cancer Center’s first and second floors, scheduled for completion in fall 2009.
“We’re increasing our current clinical examination space by 35 percent to accommodate additional patients in a more efficient, streamlined way,” adds David Stern, MD, interim director of the Barrett Cancer Center and vice president for health affairs at UC.
This will include clinics designed to accommodate large multidisciplinary teams of physicians and support staff who work together to evaluate and develop the best treatment plan for patients with certain types of cancer, for example brain, pancreas or esophageal.
Physicians say clinic sessions that involve the entire cancer team—medical oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, radiation oncologists, pain management, clinical nurses and other supportive care providers—into a common clinical space improves service to the patient.
“Creating a clinical environment designed around multidisciplinary teams ensures the entire physician team is on the same page and expedites the patient’s treatment and recovery,” Jeffrey Sussman, MD, an oncologic surgeon and director of the surgical oncology division at UC.
“Cancer treatment is time-intensive and oftentimes spread across various facilities. The goal is to provide a clinical environment that allows patients to see multiple members of their care team during the same appointment at the same location. This can minimize some of that emotional stress associated with treatment and simplifies the process.”
In addition to future improvements in clinic space, other key phase-1 advances at the Barrett Cancer Center in 2008 include:
- A new intravenous therapy suite that opened in May with 18 treatment chairs and special bone marrow biopsy room. Each chair is equipped with an entertainment system.
- The addition of a Toshiba wide-bore computed tomography scanner for improved patient positioning during radiation treatment planning for more accurate and effective treatment
- An all-new digital mammography screening center and new stereotactic breast biopsy equipment and procedure room, and
- Redesigned, more private patient waiting areas including a special young child play station for children visiting the Barrett Cancer Center to receive care.
“Greater Cincinnati needs a comprehensive cancer center to address the health care needs of southern Ohio and the joint cancer program initiative aims to fill that gap,” says John Barrett, president and chief executive officer of Western & Southern. “Cancer is a community problem, and our company recognizes the importance of doing our part to help combat it.”
The Barrett Cancer Center is recognized by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons and is a member of the Association of American Cancer Institutes. The center provides comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services to adult cancer patients and pediatric radiation treatment.
For information on how to support cancer research, patient care and education, contact the UC Foundation at (513) 558-6769.