The Southeastern Med Cancer Program in Cambridge, Ohio provides comprehensive cancer care for patients in our community, county and region.
Despite our location in an economically disadvantaged and resource-challenged Appalachian county, the hospital and local health care providers have successfully organized and sustained a quality cancer care program providing support for cancer patients and their families for more than three decades.
The program has been Commission on Cancer (CoC) Accredited for over 30 years and has an additional breast care accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).
The Southeastern Med Cancer Program recently received a one million dollar donation from a former Cambridge native to support cancer care in our community.
The hospital is partnered with OhioHealth, a network of 11 member hospitals, 60+ ambulatory sites, hospice, home health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area. OhioHealth is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center. MD Anderson is the top ranked cancer hospital in the nation. Soon, Southeastern Med patients will be able to schedule genetic counseling appointments with an OhioHealth genetic counselor via telemedicine. During this appointment, a comprehensive risk assessment for hereditary cancer will be provided.
CANCER EDUCATION, SCREENING AND EARLY DETECTION PROGRAMS
The Southeastern Med Cancer Program supports a wide array of community programs that educate the public and primary care providers about cancer, offer free and low-cost cancer screenings, and touts a nationally recognized local cancer coalition – Tina Kiser Cancer Concern Coalition (TKC3).
Each year, local surgeons stage numerous, completely free skin and breast cancer community screening events. Radiology and pulmonary physicians support a low-cost CT Scan Lung Cancer Screening Clinic.
The cancer program, TKC3 and local surgeons have supported a decade-long project to improve death rates from colon cancer involving education and free screenings. The coalition uses large, inflatable colon and breast torso educational exhibits to increase cancer awareness and enhance educational talks given throughout the year. To date, the group has provided over 550 free colonoscopies. As a result of our education and screening efforts, late stage colon cancer rates and incidence of colon cancer have plummeted. Our program has also won several national awards.
The local Community Health Needs Assessment contains a section and action plan specific to cancer education, prevention and screening awareness. The local hospital and local physicians participate in the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP) providing care for indigent patients from 18 surrounding counties. Indigent patients also receive support locally through funding from the Komen Foundation and a local fundraising effort (Power Me Pink) and a very successful yearly motorcycle poker run (Armed Forces Motorcycle Club).
The Southeastern Med Cancer Program is currently working on an ODH grant to put together a regional pilot program for breast and cervical cancer care modeled after our local colon cancer screening project that could be duplicated in other areas of the state with disparities of care.
The Southeastern Med Cancer Program roster includes full-time, on-site radiologists, pathologists, surgeons, a pulmonologist and other specialists who provide a full spectrum of diagnostic testing.
The radiologists offer ultrasound, CT, nuclear, MRI, PET and stereotactic imaging and biopsy modalities. The surgical group provides advanced endoscopic techniques, including upper and lower endoscopy, diagnostic and therapeutic ERCP, GI and biliary stenting, and small bowel capsule endoscopy.
These dynamic and multi-disciplinary testing services allow us to correctly diagnose cancer at the earliest stages and begin immediate treatment that results in better patient outcomes.
The Southeastern Med Cancer Program includes a freestanding, full-service Cancer Center on campus staffed by a full-time board-certified medical (Dr. Alkhouri) and a radiation oncologist (Dr. Jueng), as well as a fully trained nursing and support staff.
A separate infusion center is located in the hospital for those patients with special needs. There are five board-certified general surgeons with offices on campus who offer standard and minimally invasive surgical procedures for cancer patients. And the hospital medical staff roster features specialists in ENT, orthopedics, urology, ob-gyn, neurosurgery, pulmonology/critical care, neurology and nephrology. We host regular, well-attended cancer and breast conferences to discuss the best, most-comprehensive multidisciplinary treatment plans for all of our patients.
CANCER SUPPORT SERVICES
The local cancer program and patients enjoy strong support from a vast array of services that complement the care provided by physicians. A full-time RN Breast Health Navigator provides support for all breast patients. A Palliative/Supportive Care program provides consultative and supportive care for cancer and non-cancer related illnesses. And a local, certified Hospice program provides excellent outpatient support for our patients.
Our Cancer Resource Center is stocked with cancer-related information and is available to cancer patients and their families. We also place a high value on nutritional support for cancer patients. Social and psychological support is provided by our very well-staffed Quality Care Management (QCM) Team.
The Southeastern Med Cancer Program also has a very capable and knowledgeable physical and occupational therapy team that provides rehabilitative services in the hospital and in an impressive off-campus facility. Lymphedema therapy, hydrotherapy and many other services are available.
Southeastern Med and OhioHealth are working together to provide genetic counseling via telemedicine. Once available, our patients will be able to see and speak to an OhioHealth genetic counselor to receive a comprehensive risk assessment for hereditary cancer. Patients will learn:
- The likelihood that the cancers in a family are hereditary
- The risks, benefits and limitations of genetic testing
- Available screening and risk reduction options
We also have a strong, long-standing relationship with the American Cancer Society. ACS representatives attend all Cancer Committee and Cancer Conference meetings, and they are an integral part of our local cancer coalition. Our local colon cancer program and cancer coalition have received Excellence in Mission Awards from the ACS East-Central District for the last three years.
QUALITY CANCER TREATMENT EFFORTS AND ACTIVITIES
Through our affiliation with the Commission on Cancer and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, the program continuously monitors and compares our own quality benchmarks to national standards.
The Cancer Committee is the foundation and strength of our local quality efforts, continuously striving as a group to monitor, report, innovate and improve cancer care.
Our Cancer Registry is staffed by dedicated, on-site, certified cancer registrars who have been involved with cancer registrars’ organizations on a local, regional and national level.
Our Cancer Liaison Physician, Dr. Sarap, has served our program as CLP and Cancer Committee Chair for over 25 years and twice has earned the CoC Cancer Liaison Physician Outstanding Performance Award. He currently serves as CoC Program Co-Chair for Ohio, and has been invited to present at numerous American Cancer Society, American College of Surgeons, Ohio Cancer Registrars Association, Commission on Cancer and National Colon Cancer Roundtable state and national conferences on the topics of colon cancer screening, rural cancer care, the 80% by 2018 Initiative, cancer team leadership and many other topics.
The Southeastern Med Cancer Program emphasizes transparency in regards to our quality endeavors and, to that end, provides information about processes and outcomes to the medical staff, the hospital administration and board, and the community throughout the year via community quality reports and presentations. The reporting activities utilize the CoC National Cancer Databank to document our local results, as well as to compare to state and national benchmarks.
Judging from their choice of cancer care providers, the community has responded to our efforts. Yearly CoC CQIP data documents that well over 90% of our colon, breast and melanoma patients are diagnosed and treated locally by the Southeastern Med Cancer Program, despite the presence of a National Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSU-The James Cancer Program) just over an hour away.
The Southeastern Med Cancer Program and its community partners have been recognized locally, regionally and nationally with awards including:
- American Cancer Society Excellence in Mission Awards (x3)
- National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Blue Star Award
- American Hospital Association Charitable Services Award of Excellence
- The 80% by 2018 National Achievement Award.
- Southeastern Med has also recently earned a CMS Four-Star Award.