Friday , September 18 2020

Cancer Centers at Leesburg Regional Medical Center and The Villages® Regional Hospital: Setting the Highest Standards

What makes cancer care at Leesburg Regional Medical Center and The Villages® Regional Hospital so unique?
We caught up with Phyllis Baum, RN, MBA, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer for Central Florida Health—the locally owned and governed, not-for-profit parent company of LRMC and TVRH—to find out what sets these centers apart.
“We have maintained the highest-level of care for our patients for many years,” Baum explained. “One of the most important things about our cancer care programs is that we are accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer (CoC).
There are only 1,500 CoC accredited cancer programs in the United States, and we are proud to be one of those top facilities!”
Accreditation holds hospitals, treatment centers, and other facilities at rigorous standards to improve, uphold, and maintain their quality of care through various cancer-related treatments and programs like full continuum of cancer, prevention, survivorship, quality-of-care, and end-of-life care. This highly-
regarded accreditation has evidence-based guidelines to ensure that patients are receiving the most up-to-date and optimal care.
“We partner with local medical and radiation oncologists, as well as surgeons and interventional practitioners to give the patient the most efficacious options available for their specific cancer and stage. These medical professionals sit on our tumor board and participate in diagnostics, studying the case, and they map out the optimal plan for each patient personally, as well as follow them through their treatment and outcomes.”
H&W: Tell us about your partnership with the American Cancer Society (ACS).
“Like many people, my family has been affected by cancer; my dad and my brother-in-law both suffered, but when one of my dear friends and a team member from the hospital, in her 30’s, lost her fight with breast cancer, I knew I personally had to help with this fight against cancer.”
Baum began researching more about ACS and found out how integrated they were in the community through their direct staff and their volunteers. She urged the hospitals to get involved. That was over 20 years ago. “The American Cancer Society provides numerous services like Road to Recovery, which offers free rides to cancer patients to and from their appointments. Hope Lodge is also an incredible service that offers free lodging for family members of those getting treatment. The ACS also provides a 24/7 toll-free number that offers free advice to patients an answer their questions about their particular cancer. Through the years, I’ve heard many stories from patients about how these services have impacted their lives.”
“We will participate in the ACS Relay for Life and survivor recognition event April 13 and we hope to have as many survivors, patients, and volunteers as possible join us. For survivors, there is a beautiful time set aside for them personally; at the event, they are recognized by name, and they announce how long they’ve been a survivor. We also honor them with a special meal that we share together. It’s very touching, and it also gives so much hope to those who are battling the disease currently.”
Baum has served the American Cancer Society in various ways over the past few decades, but her work in legislation is extremely important to her. “I travel to Tallahassee annually as an advocate on behalf of cancer patients to protect and implement new legislation and guidelines.”
H&W: Tell us more about your facilities and what you want cancer patients and their loved ones to know.
“When we first meet a new cancer patient, we look to personalize their care to optimize their outcome. We do this by treating them compassionately as a person first and one that we will get to know very well. We also make certain to tailor their treatment to their individual needs, as well as implement the best treatment options for their most favorable results.
At the end of a patient’s cancer treatment, we have this tradition where the doctors, nurses, staff and their family gather around, and the patient rings a bell. There is nothing more moving than to see the team of professionals and the family rejoicing in this moment together.
Our team members are those that will hold your hand, talk you through the tough times, and on top of it all, you will be receiving the highest-level of cancer care here locally in your own community.”
In addition to the hospital’s certified oncology specialists, patients in their centers can access the services provided by pain management specialists, social workers, and spiritual care professionals.
More Information about the CoC Accreditation
Patients who obtain care at a CoC-accredited cancer program receive the following benefits:
• Quality cancer care
• Comprehensive care offering a range of state-of-the-art services and equipment
• A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best cancer treatment options available
• Access to cancer-related information and education
• Access to patient-centered services such as psychosocial distress screening and navigation
• Options for genetic assessment and counseling and palliative care services
• Assessment of treatment planning based on evidence-based national treatment guidelines
• Information about clinical trials and new treatment options
• Follow-up care at the completion of treatment, including a survivorship care plan
• A cancer registry that collects data on cancer type, stage and treatment results, and offers lifelong patient follow-up
Award-Winning Cancer Registry
Both Leesburg Regional Medical Center and The Villages® Regional Hospital have been awarded the prestigious Jean Byers Award for excellence in cancer registration from the Florida Cancer Data System every year since the inception of its cancer registry program. This award acknowledges the quality, timeliness and completeness in the way cancer data is reported to the statewide cancer registry.
To learn more about cancer care at Leesburg Regional Medical Center, please visit: www.leesburgregional.org/services/cancer-care/
To learn more about cancer care at The Villages® Regional Hospital, please visit: www.thevillagesregionalhospital.org/services/
cancer-care/

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