Although esophageal cancer is fairly rare, incident rates are rising. Treatment is often rigorous, involving complex surgery as well as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, so a coordinated team approach to care is crucial in achieving positive patient outcomes.
The UC Health Esophageal Disease Center will offer patients the convenience of coordinated patient appointments with all their physicians—in one location, the UC Health Barrett Cancer Center—during the same time frame.
Sandra Starnes, MD, chief of thoracic surgery for UC Health and associateprofessor at the UC College of Medicine, says the move is not only aimed at patient satisfaction: Physician-to-physician communication will also be improved.
“All members of the treatment team will be in the same clinic, face-to-face, so we can organize the patient’s treatment plan as a team in one setting,” explains Starnes. “We hope this approach improves the experience for our patients and makes our care delivery system more efficient.”
The Esophageal Disease Center is hiring a full-time coordinator who will serve as a single point of contact for patients as well as referring physicians seeking a consultation with the UC Health-based team. In the meantime, Mandy Presta, Starnes’ medical secretary, is filling the role.
“We have a great team in place dedicated to the treatment of esophageal cancer and other esophageal diseases that includes dedicated thoracic anesthesiologists, critical care nurses, pulmonologists and gastroenterologists as well as the surgeons and oncologists,” adds Starnes.
“We are set up to work both with our internal UC Health colleagues as well as community-based oncologists to deliver the best care possible to the patient.”
The esophageal disease team sees patients every Wednesday afternoon in area C on the second floor of the Barrett Cancer Center.
Physician team members include Olugbenga Olowokure, MD, of hematology oncology; Bradley Huth, MD, Michelle Mierzwa, MD, and Kevin Redmond, MD, of radiation oncology; Syed Ahmad, MD, Jeffrey Sussman, MD, of surgical oncology, and Julian Guitron and Starnes of thoracic surgery. Valerie Williams, MD, a new UC Health thoracic surgery, will join the team in August 2011.
Media Contact: Amanda Harper, (513) 558-4657
For appointments or referrals to the UC Health Esophageal Disease Center, call (513) 584-3502. For more information about specific physicians, visit ucphysicians.com.