Cancer Care – Right here at home
Cancer affects most of us at one point or another in our lives. The Oncology Clinic at Jefferson Healthcare diagnosed or saw, for first-course treatment of cancer, nearly 250 new patients in 2019. A cancer diagnosis changes life in an instant; choosing quality care is a priority. The goal at Jefferson Healthcare is to provide as many cancer treatments services as possible, so patients don’t have to travel outside the community for cancer care.
Jefferson Healthcare’s Oncology Clinic offers a warm, caring, and supportive environment to patients and families that includes; chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments, access to NCI-sponsored clinical trials, access to consultation for radiation therapy treatment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance’s clinic in Poulsbo, genetic counseling, and support in one convenient location. Board-certified medical oncologists, oncology ARNPs, oncology certified nurses, pharmacists, social workers, dietitians, and physical, occupational and speech therapists work as a team to provide coordinated comprehensive care.
Jefferson Healthcare is proud to connect with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Peninsula, an established state-of-the-art radiation oncology clinic located in Poulsbo on the Kitsap Peninsula. Providers see patients at Jefferson Healthcare in Port Townsend and arrange for them to receive treatment at the Poulsbo center. Follow up after treatment can be done in Port Townsend as well. SCCA Peninsula is the only site west of Seattle to earn full accreditation from the American College of Radiology (ACR), the leading organization in establishing a quality standard for radiation oncology facilities. SCCA Peninsula’s physicians are a team of nationally recognized experts working together to deliver the most effective radiation oncology treatment for their patients.
The cancer program at Jefferson Healthcare is accredited through the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC). Accreditation through this program requires delivery of high-quality care encompassing all a patients’ needs. The team works tirelessly to maintain and ensure accreditation through focused work on commission standards. This includes community needs assessment, prevention and early detection programs, cancer education projects, patient and family support services and scheduled multidisciplinary cancer conferences.
As part of the Western States Cancer Research NCORP (NCI Community Oncology Research Program) we offer access to NCI sponsored clinical trial. Full-time clinical trial nurse, Alya Skipper, RN, BSN, OCN is skilled at the complicated process to screen, enroll and track the trials available and the patients who are enrolled.
A cancer diagnosis may not only affect a patient physically but may also impact a patient’s mental, social and spiritual health. The team of oncology social workers, Tess Taft, LICSW and Jessica Piper, MSW, offer patient and family-centered support services at no cost. A wide range of help is available including exploring options for financial assistance or transportation to treatment appointments or helping a patient and their family cope with a new diagnosis through counseling. The mission of the Oncology social work team and cancer support services is to reduce the burden of a cancer diagnosis and ensure no patient walks their journey with cancer without the support they need.
Some comments from a patient tell this story well:
“Tess has been my emotional guide for the last eight months. I would be lost without her. My life went into a physical and emotional tailspin in October 2018 when I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. While my doctors take care of my cancer, there was nowhere for me to take my emotions until I met Tess. We meet privately with my husband, and twice a month, Tess has an Advanced Cancer group that I attend. These meetings are so important to me. They have helped me to stabilize emotionally and have allowed me to move forward with my “new normal.” My family and I are forever grateful.”
As a community hospital, we play a vital role in the health and wellness of our neighbors. Comprehensive services to reduce obstacles and provide proper support is one way we can support. There is enough to think about when you or a loved one is sick and in need of care; the right care for our community is important.