Central Care Cancer Center has served as an integral part of Great Bend’s only comprehensive cancer treatment center since the clinic’s inception nearly 16 years ago. The cancer center began as a collective vision and a partnership by Central Care Cancer Center, Catholic Health Initiatives, and local healthcare professionals who shared the goal of bringing comprehensive cancer care to the Great Bend area.
“We recognized that a comprehensive cancer center was of the utmost importance for Great Bend and central Kansas,” explained Dr. Claudia Perez-Tamayo, president and oncologist for Central Care Cancer Center. “This is a place where people seek out to live, to raise their families, and to retire because Great Bend is so centralized. There are excellent doctors and tremendous healthcare options here, along with a solid infrastructure to promote great quality of life.”
Throughout the years, Central Care Cancer Center has provided full-time radiation oncology, medical oncology and hematology services. Central Care has continually expanded its services, keeping cancer care close to home for patients by following national protocols, offering second opinions, and access to clinical trials through partnership with other leading organizations. Additionally, Central Care has continued to provide the most advanced technology available, including the use of telemedicine.
Telemedicine, commonly referred to as telehealth, allows healthcare professionals to evaluate and treat patients using telecommunications technology, such as video conferencing or Interactive Television (ITV). With advanced technology, Central Care Cancer Center has collaborated with other oncology experts from leading universities and cancer centers across the United States. This advancement in technology gives patients the opportunity to consult with a cancer specialist without the need to drive long distances; this can all be done within many of the Central Care Cancer Center locations.
Central Care continues to recognize the needs of patients, as it has established a strong financial counseling program over the years. The program assists patients by helping them understand their insurance coverage and billing. Financial Counselors seek out opportunities for grants through various foundations in order to ease the financial burden for patients. In fact, Central Care Cancer Center earned a “Champion of Farmworker Health Award” in 2016 by the Kansas Statewide Farmworker Health Program (KSFHP), for helping patients qualify for cancer care through financial counselling service.
“We see everybody,” said Dr. Mark Fesen, oncologist for the Great Bend clinic, who has served central Kansas patients for more than 25 years. “You walk in, we see you; we find a way to care for you. We do our best to find any and all resources to treat you.”
Along with Drs. Perez-Tamayo and Fesen, the oncology team for Great Bend has remained much the same over the years, with Drs. Greg Nanney and Thomas Hegarty also caring for patients in Great Bend.
Thirty years ago, Dr. Perez-Tamayo left her positon as a leading researcher at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor to practice and serve as the cancer center medical director in Salina. Because of her expertise in the field of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), she was soon seeing oncology patients from across the state. She recognized the need for comprehensive cancer care in the rural communities across Kansas.
“I have always been a believer that oncology patients shouldn’t have to travel far to receive quality healthcare,” explained Dr. Perez-Tamayo. “Because I was seeing patients from all regions of Kansas, I witnessed the need to bring quality cancer care to those areas. With the hardships that confront cancer patients - the pain, the anxiety, and the mechanical difficulties - we wanted to try to ease those burdens in every possible way. It became our mission to bring oncology expertise and technology to people in rural communities.”
In three decades, Central Care Cancer Center has grown to include more than a dozen locations across the state of Kansas and southwest Missouri with the goal of keeping cancer patients and their families close to home while receiving treatments. Today, Central Care Cancer Center has a network of nearly 20 oncology providers.
Because of her notable contributions to the field of radiation oncology, Dr. Perez-Tamayo has been awarded prestigious fellowships to both the American College of Radiology and the American College of Radiation Oncology. She is the only combined ACR and ACRO fellow in the state of Kansas. She was awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Wichita Business Journal in 2018 for her role in bringing cancer care close to home in communities across the state of Kansas.
Central Care Cancer Center, https://www.cccancer.com
January 22, 2019
FOR GREAT BEND TRIBUNE PROGRESS HEALTH EDITION
News release by: Michael Dawes, PR Manager – Central Care Cancer Center, 785-823-0633, ext. 228; firstname.lastname@example.org