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Susquehanna Life

Evangelical Expands Programing to Provide Coordinated Cancer Care for Patients

Mar 16, 2015 11:55AM ● By Erica Shames

Through its ongoing work with the Commission on Cancer, Evangelical is initializing a new model of care delivery for a spectrum of cancers based on the success shown through its breast cancer program.

“A cancer diagnosis brings chaos to a patient’s routine,” said Andrea Bertram, Director of Cancer Services. “We’re here to sort through the confusion and aid both patients and providers with a direct plan to make sense of it all.”

Bertram continued, “Looking at our breast cancer program, we felt that all cancer patients could benefit from the tools we have in place for those patients and that expanding cancer services is what is best for the needs of patients in our community.”

The cancer program includes treating the whole patient from diagnosis through treatment, and survivorship. Patients at Evangelical have access to a navigator who guides them through the complex world of cancer diagnosis. From initial finding of a cancer, a consistent navigator becomes the patient’s advocate.

The role of the navigator is to aid the patient in knowing their options for care and the resources at their disposal so they can make the best decision for themselves and their family during the journey from diagnosis to survivorship. The services chosen by the patient can be provided by Evangelical or other healthcare facilities; the goal of the Evangelical program is to make sure whatever services are chosen are consistent with the standard of care determined to be right for the patient.

Each patient’s case is reviewed by a multidisciplinary team to create a comprehensive medical care plan. Members of the team include the patient’s navigator, surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, oncologists, the patient’s family physician, and other team members with expertise relating to the diagnosed cancer. The plan that results is vetted through the team and coincides with established standards of care set forth by the Commission on Cancer.

Once that care plan is created, medical experts work together to implement each step. The patient’s navigator ensures the plan is followed, documented, and treatments are falling into the order they must for optimal effectiveness.

A pivotal point for patients is care beyond medical. At Evangelical there is a strong focus on the psychological and emotional needs of the patient. Individuals find themselves adding cancer treatment to their already hectic lives and when those two collide, barriers to care can occur. Some of those obstacles include financial concerns, the need to maintain a household where the patient may be caring for a child or a loved one, transportation issues for appointments, depression associated with diagnosis, and more. Identifying patient concerns is a tenet to the success of their care and part of the commitment of Evangelical is to provide individuals with access to the resources needed to handle those issues as they arise and put the patient on a path to healing.

“The key to Evangelical’s successful cancer program has always been founded on the patient and how we, as medical professionals, can move their care forward by eliminating the barriers that cause stress,” said Bertram.

The expanded program builds from Evangelical’s working relationships with other area healthcare facilities and organizations. A patient who comes to Evangelical for the management of their care can benefit from research trials, genetic testing, second opinions, resources from other healthcare facilities, and more.

For more information about Evangelical’s cancer care services, visit or call 570-522-4238.

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