Too often, family members are left to make difficult decisions about care for a loved one who is at the end of his or her life. Emotions are running high and, without clear instructions from the patient, the family may make decisions about their care that goes against the patient’s wishes. It can be difficult to think about, but making decisions about care at the end of life before someone is seriously ill or incapacitated is important. The Conversation Project helps patients, families and healthcare providers discuss end-of-life care. The project provides a toolkit to help start these conversations and consolidate the patient’s wishes in one central location. It lays out medical terminology in easy-to-understand language and answers frequently asked questions about what end-of-life care options may be available. Click here to download the toolkit and share with patients.
Attracting 52 boats, 220 anglers and more than 500 total participants, the 6th Annual Fish for a Cure Tournament proved to be the most successful event to date, raising $220,000 to support cancer programs at AAMC. Cyrus Lashgari, MD, of Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center, took first place catching a 37-inch rockfish. Dr. Lashgari was part of a crew of physicians who chartered a boat for the fishing and caught half dozen stripers. Several teams of physicians raised thousands on behalf of Fish for
the Cure, with Team DESPA coming in third place with $15,000.
The DeCesaris Cancer Institute and Rehabilitation Medicine are excited to announce the development of a comprehensive cancer rehabilitation program. Carol Tweed, MD, will serve as medical advisor.
Twenty-five clinicians from across the rehabilitation and cancer institute departments have been selected to receive training in the first session. Our goal is to have the program fully developed and “STAR”-certified by March 2014. STAR stands for Survivorship Training and Rehab Program.
What does it mean to be a “ STAR” certified program? The “STAR” certification program operating under the name of Oncology Rehabilitation Partners was developed by Dr. Julie Silver at Harvard Medical School. It has been implemented by more than 75 hospitals and cancer centers nationwide including Johns Hopkins Hospital. This program aims to provide healthcare professionals with new or enhanced knowledge that can be implemented in the evaluation and management of cancer and treatment-related impairments, ultimately ensuring the safe and effective restoration of cancer survivor’s function and quality of life. Emphasis will be placed on evidence based practice, understanding rationales for therapeutic interventions, as well as identifying areas where future research is needed in the field of cancer rehabilitation. “STAR” certification includes online educational training, expert-directed webinars, on-site self-directed in-service instructions, implementation support, outcomes measurements and support, marketing materials and continuing education.
The development of the comprehensive cancer rehabilitation program will involve a considerable combined effort among the professionals in the Cancer Institute, Outpatient Rehabilitation, Inpatient Rehabilitation, and Pulmonary Rehabilitation services. The complexity of developing an oncology rehab program requires provider expertise, consistent standards of education and treatment, and adherence to guidelines to achieve outcomes. Above all, it takes a commitment from all departments where these services are offered to come together as one team and achieve the standards we set. In addition, six patient and family advisers have been selected to work with of us providing valuable insight as we go along.
We are confident that we will achieve success together and make a difference for our cancer patients. Contact your director for more information or contact Cathy Copertino, executive director of the DeCesaris Cancer Institute, at 443-481-1336 or ccopertino@AAHS.org.
Medical staff member Paul W. Davies, MD, was sworn in on September 18 as Maryland’s first Chairman of the Medical Marijuana Commission. This marks a historic development in Maryland’s journey toward legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. Gov. Martin O’Malley named 11 people, including health professionals, lawyers, a police chief, and a prosecutor to a commission to oversee Maryland’s new law legalizing marijuana use for medical reasons.
The law limits distribution of cannabis to a small number of academic medical centers. The commission has the authority to permit the centers to design and implement programs that make marijuana available to defined groups of patients. The marijuana commission is scheduled to have its first meeting in Baltimore on September 24.
Dr. Davies is the founder and CEO of Kure Pain Management, is board-certified in both anesthesia and pain management. Dr. Davies was a post-doctoral fellow in pain management at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree from the University of Manchester, England. He has trained at the University of Pittsburgh, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and at the Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore.
From Stephen Cattaneo, MD, medical director of thoracic oncology, DeCesaris Cancer Institute
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued a draft recommendation that older, longtime smokers ages 55 to 80 with 30 pack-year smoking history be screened annually for lung cancer by low-dose chest CT scan based on evidence from the National Lung Screening Trial. The final recommendation is expected to be made in the next few months.
From Lorraine Tafra, MD, FACS, medical director of the AAMC Breast Center
The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers has approved AAMC’s program for another three-year full accreditation. The site surveyor rated all 27 areas reviewed as compliant. Final surveyor remarks include: “An outstanding program providing excellent patient focused care. There are many best practices within this program and the leaders and team members are exceptional.”
Congratulations to Shelley Perkins, MD, who recently completed a surgical oncology breast fellowship under Lorraine Tafra, MD, medical director of the AAMC Breast Center. The fellowship is through the Society of Surgical Oncology Breast Fellowship. Dr. Perkins focused on the multidisciplinary treatment of breast cancer and rotated through all areas that treat the disease including radiology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, lymphedema, genetics, research, plastic surgery, and more. Dr. Perkins’ next position is at the Naval Hospital in San Diego. The Breast Center will welcome incoming fellow, Erica Giblin, MD, later this year. See photos from Dr. Perkins’ graduation party here.
Access the series schedule or register for the program here.
In collaboration with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the George Washington University Cancer Institute (GWCI) recently launched the Cancer Survivorship E-Learning Series for primary care providers. The series is an integral part of the National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center’s mission to shape the future of cancer survivorship care and improve the quality of life of cancer survivors as they transition from treatment to recovery and beyond.
The e-learning series will be available to a range of health care providers including general medicine physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses who practice in a variety of primary care settings. The series is free and offers continuing education credits. It addresses the current state of cancer survivorship. Modules focus on the role of clinical generalists and specialists in providing follow-up care, how to manage long-term and late medical and psychosocial effects of cancer and its treatment, and the importance of survivorship care planning.
“GWCI is pleased to collaborate with the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nationally recognized experts in clinical survivorship care and primary care to offer the e-learning series,” said Mandi Pratt-Chapman, M.A., associate director of community programs for GWCI. “We are launching this program to raise awareness among our nation’s primary care providers of the ongoing health care needs of cancer survivors.”
The first three modules, to be released on April 15, will include a focus on the “Current Status of Survivorship Care and the Role of Primary Care Providers,” presented by Larissa Nekhlyudov, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor in the department of population medicine at Harvard Medical School and internist at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, and Anne Willis, M.A., director of the division of cancer survivorship at GWCI. “Cancer survivors are mostly seen in primary care. In order to effectively care for cancer survivors, primary care providers need education, guidance, and tools,” said Nekhlyudov. “I am so glad that this program has been developed, and I am thrilled to participate.”
Future topics in 2013 include the importance of health promotion in cancer survivorship and clinical guidelines for cancer survivorship care. Each one-hour module offers patient experience interviews, presentations by experts in survivorship and primary care, case studies, and patient and provider resources. The series is offered as part of an increasing national focus on the need to improve the quality of care provided to cancer survivors after completing treatment. “The National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center supports the development and distribution of a broad range of cancer survivorship informational materials, including clinical practice guidelines and health care provider education materials for survivorship care,” said Annette Gardner, public health advisor, CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control.
The Center also promotes healthy behaviors to reduce late and long-term effects of cancer and its treatment and addresses gaps in cancer survivorship services through evaluation. “There are nearly 14 million cancer survivors in the United States, and more attention than ever is focused on the quality of life and long-term outcomes of cancer survivors,” said Roshini George, national vice president of health promotions for the ACS. “The American Cancer Society is delighted to be partnering with the George Washington University Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for this program.”
For more information, please contact Lisa Anderson at email@example.com or 202-994-3121.