Cancer and blood disorders cut against all boundaries of age, sex, race, and economic status. Men, women, and children of all background experience the complications associated with these conditions, some of which are painful or life-threatening.
At Kansas Institute of Medicine Cancer and Blood Center in Lenexa, the battle against cancer and other blood related disorders does not have to be a lonely one. As the only community based oncology and hematology practice in the area, the KIM Cancer and Blood Center team is dedicated to making sure patients never have to choose between high-quality care and staying within the close proximity of their family and community support system.
Getting through challenging times –– such as cancer treatment or other types of blood disorders –– requires much more than having an accurate diagnosis. It requires all of the elements of treatments, technologies and outside support coming together to form the most advantageous conditions possible to deal with a serious health condition.
The Cancer and Blood Center began a year ago with that mission in mind explains its founder, Dr. Kelley Young, who having experience in a large hospital setting saw the value in bringing oncology and hematology to the community level.
“We are unique because we are the only privately owned community based hematology/oncology practice in the area. Community based care is very valuable because health care delivery is greatly enhanced by the personal doctor/patient relationship we offer, which includes involving the family or primary support team.”
Dr. Young, who is a Board Certified Oncologist/Hematologist, specializes in Hematology and Oncology and treats a wide variety of cancer diagnoses and blood disorders, recognizes the many obstacles patients face when managing health care.
“Community based care allows patients to receive leading-edge therapies while maintaining the critical ties of support with their local and personal communities. It also eliminates the problems of logistics, and having to travel long distances while not feeling at one’s best. Those things can become serious barriers for patients.”
There’s No Place Like Home
One of the most distressing aspects about dealing with cancer and other disorders is disconnecting from the normalcy of life in order to obtain treatment. For some that means an extended amount of time away from home. For others it could mean having their schedules so significantly disrupted that it is difficult to maintain their normal routines.
“When a patient is dealing with a significant health issue, the process of receiving treatment can cause them to become disconnected from the many things that matter in life. This makes all of the things surrounding treatment take center stage, which can become even more stressful. The ability to maintain a normal routine is very beneficial to patients. Work and other activities provide a welcomed distraction as well as help maintain ties to friends, family, and support groups,” Dr. Young shared of the practicality of attaining care.
Community based care makes maintaining a normal schedule and regular routine much more feasible.
A Year of Progress
The response to the practice has been overwhelmingly positive, and has brought many exciting changes to the Cancer and Blood Center. One of the most notable milestones was the arrival of Dr. Rolando Breier in December of 2015. Dr. Breier, whose Board Certifications include Medical Oncology, Internal Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine also comes from a background at a larger facility.
“I came to the Kansas Institute of Medicine Cancer and Blood Center because I wanted to dedicate myself to more personalized care. We really focus on quality of care versus quantity of care. When patients come here, they get the time and support that they need and deserve,” shared Dr. Breier as he spoke of the importance of quality time with patients.
For the Cancer and Blood Center, progress always equals enhanced patient care.
“Our goal is to continue to find better ways to serve our patients, and never being satisfied with something that is good enough. We want to ensure that every patient has all the time they need to ask questions and understand their diagnosis. This is a very important part of providing real support, as well as the development of the most beneficial treatment plans. Progress is about giving patients the most support and the easiest access to the most advanced and comprehensive treatments available,” Dr. Breier continued.
Community Care Means Increased Options
There are several common misconceptions about community based care which The Cancer and Blood Center wished to dispel. Many people believe that community care limits the patient’s options, or that the options are different or less advanced than are available in other medical settings. Nothing, however, can be further from the truth.
“Community-based care doesn’t mean limited options. In fact it means more efficiency in accessing all of your options,” contends Dr. Breier.
Patients of the KIM Cancer and Blood Center are not limited to one hospital, but have access to several of the top hospitals in the area. The center is staffed with attentive and experienced medical Oncologists, Oncology Certified Nurses and pharmacist, and a highly trained nutritionist.
“These are not people new to the field, but have been in oncology for years, bringing vast experience,” he continued.
The center treats advanced cancers, such as head and neck cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, Leukemia, and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with the most leading-edge technologies. The team works collaboratively with physicians from a wide range of specialties to fully understand the patient’s cancer and to coordinate care.
“Patients have access to all of the diagnostic, treatments, and technologies available today, but in a very personalized and intimate atmosphere,” added Dr. Young.
Patients who are favorable candidates additionally have the advantage of access to nationally reviewed clinical trials. This is a tremendous benefit to the patient as they receive academic, leading technologies without having to leave their support system behind or having to temporarily relocate.
“Clinical trials are not for every patient, but for those who are good candidates, they receive the most promising treatments as early as possible. Many patients respond very positively to them, which is important. Participating is not always an easy decision however. In a community-based atmosphere, the patient receives the added support that is so helpful in navigating the process,” Dr. Young explained of the availability of clinical trials.
World-Class Medical Oncology Treatments
Patients with cancer need more than an accurate diagnosis. Realizing this, Cancer and Blood Center works tirelessly to make best of class treatments available locally.
Dr. Young understands the patient advantage of having these services available locally, and more personally.
“Patients dealing with cancer need easy access to the treatments that will relieve the symptoms; slow the growth and spread and often cure the disease. Patients may require treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone based therapies among other treatments. It is especially important that patients have a team that works collaboratively to ensure that every aspect of care is monitored, while also receiving continual support.”
Specialized Care in a Warm Environment
While patients want and deserve the most advanced care possible, the environment in which the care is received is equally important.
“We realize that every aspect of a facility has the potential to either enhance or detract from the patient experience. We have made a special effort to consider the patient needs and perspective in the design of the facility,” Dr. Young explained.
Walking into the center, patients are immediately greeted warmly. The space is situated for maximum efficiency, while still providing maximum comfort. Large enough to house every aspect of cancer and blood care, the facility does not feel overly clinical or cavernous. Infusion services, for example, are available on site and the spacious rooms accommodate the patient, as well as any family or friends that are along for support.
“Patients never feel lost in a maze of hallways, or alone in any aspect of their care,” Dr. Breier affirms. “The space is warm and intimate, and it is easy to become familiar and feel at home.”
United for Care
Great care is more than administering treatments for the team at Cancer and Blood Center. It is about leveraging every element of healthcare, as well as other facets such as family, in the most powerful and beneficial ways to benefit the patient and help them battle against cancer and blood diseases.
“Care must go well beyond simply delivering treatments. We understand this and embrace our broader responsibility of fostering relationships that will help our patients. We encourage family participation and provide support to caregivers. We also encourage patients to become involved in community support groups. Most importantly, we dedicate ourselves to staying aware of the latest advances, and knowing every aspect of our patients’ diagnosis. It is our firm belief that patients deserve the full efforts of every team member,” Dr. Young firmly asserted.
The Changing Face of Medicine
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014 and 2015, there are over 14 million Americans living with a cancer diagnosis at some stage of new diagnosis, active treatment or in remission with need for ongoing followup. With the many advances in targeted therapies and other rapidly advancing technologies available locally, patients now have a choice about how they receive treatment. At KIM Cancer and Blood Center, serious diseases can be battled from the home front.
Kansas Institute of Medicine
Cancer and Blood Center
11227 Lakeview Ave., Lenexa, KS 66219