Clinics

Erin Bond, N.P. and nurse navigator at a new cancer clinic in Gilbert gives a tour of the new facility on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. Photo by Ethan Fichtner/Special to Tribune.

Dignity Health is taking a team-based approach to assist patients with cancer by opening two of its Comprehensive Cancer Clinics in Chandler and Gilbert. The clinics are under a joint partnership between Dignity Health and Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers.

Both clinics are near the campuses at Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert medical centers. The locations assist patients with coordinated treatment decisions and navigation of care options, according to a press release.

Clinics will offer an array of physicians who will meet with patients and develop a “comprehensive treatment plan” in an efficient and convenient manner.

“Dignity Health quickly realized that in the East Valley they needed to boost oncology services,” said Erin Bond, nurse practitioner.

The main goal of the Comprehensive Cancer Clinics is patient-center care.

“Often when a patient is newly diagnosed with cancer they have to go back and forth to various providers … with these clinics, we are looking to minimize the time it takes for a patient to see different providers,” Bond said. “In doing that, we hope to decrease the patient’s anxiety and increase their overall quality of life.”

Bond said during a patient’s first visit at the clinic they will see a surgeon, a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist and a nurse practitioner.

“We really have a team approach, and we can best provide the patient with the care during the start of their treatment,” she said.

During the first years of operation, the clinics will offer services to breast cancer patients.

Plans to offer services to thoracic oncology cancer patients will be offered in the future.

In addition to the team of physicians, the clinics will also offer additional services such as therapists, social workers, financial consultants, genetic counselors and nutrition experts.

Tim Bricker, president and CEO of Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert medical centers, said it can be a tumultuous time for patients when they are diagnosed with cancer.

“The concept is to bring a team of doctors to help patients and family members understand the new diagnosis, help answer any questions and develop a treatment plan,” he said. “It’s a time in their lives where they are very scared, and there’s a lot of anxiety … so what we are trying to do is make the process more convenient in a way that brings providers together in one visit, so the patient can get his or her questions answered without going to multiple places.”

Opening the clinics in Chandler and Gilbert will keep people treated on an outpatient basis closer to home, Bricker said.

“It’s a time where people feel very sick by the nature of the treatment, so having the opportunity to have treatments close to home for patients is important,” he said. “These clinics are really a new concept for the Southeast Valley and Phoenix. Having the opportunity for coordinated treatment close to home is very important and much more convenient for patients in the East Valley.”

Both clinics will also partner with the University of Arizona Cancer Center in downtown Phoenix and use its resources in order to aid patients with any of their medical needs.

“I’m really excited with the opportunity to provide a more coordinated approach to cancer care,” Bricker said. “This really cuts down on the time patients spend figuring out what are their next options.”

For additional information about Dignity Health’s Comprehensive Cancer Clinics, visit www.dignityhealth.org.

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