World-class cancer care

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Memorial Family of Services has been providing world-class cancer care locally for 13 years. Each year, North Star Lodge Cancer Center provides care to approximately 900 patients, performs 14,000 radiation and 13,000 chemotherapy treatments, and administers 140,000 lab tests. Recently, Memorial and The Memorial Foundation contributed $6.4 million toward the purchase of technology, including two new Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators for North Star Lodge. This new generation of imaging equipment precisely delivers radiation to cancerous cells in ¼ the time of previous equipment and leaves healthy cells unharmed.

Technological advances also benefit cancer survivors by allowing coordination of care before, during and after treatment. North Star Lodge is utilizing the ARIA medical record, an electronic care plan with many benefits over paper documents. It generates reminders about follow-up events, such as screenings or lab tests, and alerts users to scheduled events. These notifications can go to a nurse practitioner, physician or patient. Once cancer treatment is complete, ARIA can be used to keep a patient and his or her primary care physician up-to-date on individual care plans using a secure Internet connection. This enables interaction and allows feedback to be shared between patients and their physicians and care team.

“We have more survivors now than ever, and we wanted to ensure that we have the technology to support them in their continued well-being,” says Sean Cleary, PhD, MD, Medical Director of radiation oncology at North Star Lodge.

Carol Wyatt describes her experience: “I feel very fortunate to be a patient of North Star Lodge. During the first few treatments, I kept my eyes closed because it was so terrifying. But with the new technology, I found it wasn’t so terrifying, but rather interesting. I now keep my eyes open and it only takes a few minutes. Treatments have been much easier for me.”

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