The past several years have been a period of tremendous growth for the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, as more patients from Maryland and beyond choose UMGCC for cutting-edge cancer care. To meet the demand for care -- and to continue to provide the best possible patient experience -- the cancer center is expanding in several major areas.
The Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Pavilion for outpatient cancer care has seen a dramatic increase in patient visits since it opened in 2005. The center -- which typically sees 180 cancer patients each weekday -- recently added six new treatment bays for chemotherapy infusions, along with two additional stations for checking patients' vital signs prior to treatment. Team rooms for staff were enhanced as well, with bigger and better work surfaces and additional computers and telephones to improve workflow.
"The additional treatment space allows us to reduce waiting times for patients and provide a better overall patient experience," says Tonya Cooper-Davis, director of ambulatory services for the cancer center.
Newly Renovated Inpatient Room
Inpatient admissions are also up, and the cancer center has embarked on a three-phase project to expand capacity for inpatient cancer care. In the first phase, a completely renovated unit on 8 West in the North Hospital building opened for cancer patients in early June. The second phase is a renovation of 9 West, now underway, converting the existing semiprivate rooms to private rooms. The unit on 9 West will then become the temporary home to the Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Unit, while that unit undergoes its own facelift later this year.
"This expansion means we gain needed space to care for all of our cancer inpatients in dedicated cancer center units with trained oncology staff. It also allows us to upgrade to all private rooms, providing a much-enhanced home for our patients," says Kevin J. Cullen, M.D., cancer center director and professor of medicine and pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Left to right: CMRO radiation oncologists Courtney Bui, M.D., Deborah Frassica, M.D., and Sally Cheston, M.D.
The UMGCC cancer care services are expanding beyond the Medical Center's downtown campus, as well. The Department of Radiation Oncology recently opened Central Maryland Radiation Oncology (CMRO), an innovative collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine to expand radiation oncology services to Howard County residents.
The new center brings together the state's two academic medical centers in a joint venture to expand regional access to care, thanks to the vision and persistence of William F. Regine, M.D., chief of radiation oncology at the University of Maryland Medical Center and chairman of radiation oncology at the School of Medicine.
"With this new collaboration, patients in Howard County will now have access to cutting-edge cancer treatment options and clinical trials available at Maryland's two academic medical centers -- right in their own backyard," Regine says.