St.Vincent Cancer Care: Creating a patient-focused care experience

By Linda House, Executive Director of St.Vincent Cancer Care

St.Vincent is on the front lines of cancer care in Indiana. At St.Vincent Indianapolis Hospital alone, we will care for approximately 3,000 people with cancer this year. We are fortunate to offer our patients a number of support services to complement their care—and to have the generous support of the Women of Hope in delivering many of those services.

Our survival statistics continue to exceed the national benchmark. And our patients appreciate that we care for the whole person—body, mind and spirit—and their loved ones with warmth and compassion. We have a proud tradition of treating the cancer while also caring for everyone affected by it.

We are constantly working to improve the cancer care experience, for both patients and their loved ones. That’s why over the past year, the St.Vincent Cancer Care team has created a program based on the patient experience, rather than organizational convenience.

This means we walk side-by-side with each patient and their caregivers every step of the cancer journey, from awareness and diagnosis, through treatment and post-acute phase survivorship.  We do this with the help of leading talent and technology—including breast centers recently designated Centers of Excellence by the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program (one of only 11 breast centers in the country);  robotic and minimally invasive surgical procedures; tissue-sparing radiation therapy, including brachytherapy and stereotactic radiation therapy; access to traditional and novel chemotherapeutic agents through our clinical trial programs; and groundbreaking chemotherapy delivery systems such as hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy.

We’re also looking forward to growing our work here to include Y-90 microspheres and other minimally invasive interventional radiology options for people with cancer.

In the past year, we started a program called Ears to You, in which every woman receiving chemotherapy (or just in need of an emotional pick-up) receives a free pair of earrings. We have grown our patient education and support services through programs such as Caring for the Caregiver, Cancer Transitions, Man-to-Man and others. Last June, we were pleased to introduce pet therapy to the Cancer Center and now have our furry friends providing comfort to patients receiving chemotherapy two days a week. And our formal survivorship program is well into development and will enable us to navigate patients from their active phase of treatment into the post-acute phase of their journey.

St.Vincent Cancer Care is growing by leaps and bounds to support survivors and co-survivors from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of their lives. To learn more about our new care model, spend some time exploring our website. And to keep up with the very latest news regarding our ever-evolving program, visit frequently.

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